Friday, 17 June 2011

The toughest part of mentoring

Here's an exert of some of my lecture notes on Mentoring - so far in the little amount of mentoring I've done, this is by far the hardest part.  Especially as you're building a relationship and not sure if you have the respect or place to confront on certain issues - which I think can be highlighted when the mentoring relationship is with someone still of school age - where do the boundaries of your responsibility lie??  Anyway I found these notes helpful.

The mentoring relationship is founded on genuine care and concern for the mentoree, but sometimes as Davis states, “a mentor is called upon to confront.” Wagner believes that a balance between the confrontation of issues and honest care for people will strengthen and lengthen a mentoring relationship. Mentors have a unique privilege and responsibility to confront inappropriate behavior and attitudes, and facilitate growth. As Wagner points out to his audience of Promise Keepers when speaking about the need to confront, “Only a mentor - one who has proved his faithfulness as a friend - will be trusted at those critical, teachable moments that make or break a man’s ministry.”
Productive confrontation not only needs a foundation of earned trust, but also a careful wording of the confronting message. Shea suggests that the message should involve a neutral description of what one perceives the mentoree intends, a statement of the possible negative effects on the mentoree and other people, and the feelings or emotions one has about the mentoree’s plan or action. Other important skills in effective confrontation include assessing the psychological readiness of a mentoree to benefit from different perspectives, focusing on the behaviors most likely to change, using the least amount of feedback necessary for impact, and reinforcing throughout the confrontation one’s belief in the mentoree’s potential for growth.

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