Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Make it happen: see your mentee shine!

How I would love it to see shining mentees because they have such good mentors!

Specially teenagers and young adults who are insecure.
How great would it be when their mentor is a good listener and takes them seriously.
How great would it be when their mentor asks questions through which they see their resources. Resources useful for the right cause, théir cause!

Actually I would love to see it happen with all those who need a mentor: business partners (junior - senior), musicians (upcoming - "old ones"), those who are fighting illness (from "mild" to very serious) and in schools (students - teachers - principals).

I'm convinced that The Solution Focused Approach is the right way to guide and support everyone.
I will mention a few points.
A mentee, can be sure of:

1. genuine attention
2. interest in them as a person, not only for their "problem/still-have-to-learn" issues
3. a positive, hopeful atmosphere
4. questions meaning to build
5. humor

For now a short explanation, in following blogs there will be more to come!
1. "Walk a mile in their shoes." A good mentor is able to do that. No judgements, just imagine yourself to be in his/her place ...

2. "The whole person, nothing but the whole person." The Solution Focused Approach tells you to be curious. Because there is so much for your mentee to acknowledge he/she is good at, interested in, be able of, loves to do, etc. Live is so much more then the part he/she is working on with your help!

3. You as a mentor are like a buddy: you mean well! You know your student. You know the times when things did work out fine, when your student did think in the right direction and made the 'right' decision. You know the progress he/she made. When there are setbacks, you are able to make your mentee belief he/she will get over it and will make progress again. 

4. "What went well since we've last met?" All your questioning is ment to build on your students progress. As a mentor in a school setting you mostly have not a lot of time and you are not a therapist, so make them tell you (and most of all: tell them selves!) every (tiny) thing that showed their skills and resources. They probably can use it all to succeed in what they want to achieve.

5. "Add lightness" is one of my favourite quotes from one of the founders of Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Steve de Shazer. Even in conversation with clients who had real big problems, he managed to create a moment of lightness. How can we create that as mentors? Just be genuine and try!

Gosh, I notice, I want to tell you so much more!
More about the above mentioned points, more points, the reason why they are so important, etc., etc.
I hope you will have some clues to start with.
Please tell me whether one of the points worked out for your student!
I am very curious!!

By for now,
Smile and shine!

A beautiful piece of mentoring in music:
Billy Joel and Michael Pollock

My e-book about Mentoring:
www.bookboon.com  (for free if you play it smart)

www.bureau-uil.nl (Dutch)
Facebook Ella de Jong inspiring writer, coach and speaker
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