Just this week I saw a Social Media posting from an emerging professional speaker that read in part, “One of my mentors, Patricia Morgan, told me one of the best things I can do is…So look out. Here I come!” I felt honored!
Accepting the role of a mentor is one of the most impactful and resiliency strengthening acts you can do. Plus, mentors can boost the resilience of those they mentor. colleague, Calgarian, Corey Olynik is a master mentor and wrote the book, The Mentor’s Mentor.
Olynik provides a description of what a mentor is, and how you can become an effective one who helps others find their authentic voices and excel in their goals.
There are six basic roles a mentor can fill:
- Confidante: Create emotional safety so the protégé can freely share. Olynik devotes a section of his book to sharing effective, yet seldom used, tips for deepening your listening skills.
- Sage: Draw on your knowledge, experience and wisdom. Provide direction. Help your protégé name and focus on his or her values, vision and goals. Later on in the process, keep your protégé’s vision clear while affirming progress towards that vision.
- Role Model: Remember your protégé wants to be where you are in life. Tell stories that demonstrate principles. Olynik provides a storytelling framework. Describe: 1) the circumstance, 2) the action you took, 3) the result, what happened, 4) what you learned and what, perhaps, you would do differently.
- Guide: Tools to guide include SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Related) and SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats). Spend as little time as possible in this role. Protégés learn faster when they make their own choices and actions.
- Tutor: See the protégé’s blind spots and facilitate learning in those areas.
- Coach: Know when to push, when to hold back, and when to keep your protégé accountable. Ask permission to ask the hard questions.
Corey Olynik Quotes:
- While the temptation is often to talk about what the protégé is going to do, a real mentor is working on who the protégé is and what he is destined to become.
- Mentoring comes from within. The mentor’s passion is for the growth of the protege.
- Mentors need to train their instinct to know when to play each of the roles.
- Check in with yourself regularly—there’s no ‘formula’ to mentoring. There’s more than one right way to do things, more than one right answer.
- A mentor needs to have faith. Faith means not knowing what’s going to happen, but being prepared to live in whatever happens.
- Mentoring is a gift and huge responsibility. To whom much is given, much is expected.
Corey Olynik has made mentoring his life passion and work. You can use mentoring to fuel your life passion and work; allowing your experiences and wisdom to pass on through the passion and vision of another.
Let me know if you are in a mentor role or about to embark on the journey. Or let me know your experience of being a mentee or mentor. I would love to hear from you!