Leadership & Formation #19: Mentoring Guidelines

Leadership & Formation #19: Mentoring Guidelines

figure_walking_into_sunset_400_clr_14043.pngBefore you can find personal mentors, you must first determine your mentoring needs and their priority.  Two arenas must be considered when determining your personal mentoring needs.  

One has to do with your beingness – the ‘energy’ that will supply the fuel you will need to fulfill your developmental goals.  In other words, what activities will provide the resources needed to reach your objectives?  What resources will provide power and strength to attain your goals?  As said in an earlier post; competencies are the tools of effective leadership but character is the power of effective leadership.

The second area has to do with your doingness – your growth goals for your work and calling; your developmental goals that will provide the tools you need to succeed.  In other words, what competencies and skills are needed for you to succeed?  What barriers to your advancement must be addressed so that you can realize your dreams?

In summary, life development goals (beingness) and professional development goals (doingness) must be considered and prioritized before you can answer the following questions.  Answers to the questions that follow will determine the effectiveness and parameters in any mentoring relationship.

  • What do I look for in a mentor?
  • What must I be willing to contribute to the mentoring relationship?
  • How do I find a mentor?

Let’s begin…

What do I look for in a mentor?

2 Timothy 2:2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.

Look for mentors who will be…

  • Honest with you.
  • A model for you.
  • Deeply committed to you.
  • Open and transparent with you.
  • A teacher.
  • One who believes in your potential.
  • One who can help you plan and turn your dream into reality.
  • Successful in your eyes.
  • Open to learning from you as well as teaching you.
  • Willing to stay primarily on your agenda, not their own.
  • One who will hold you accountable.
  • One who will be available to you.

What must I be willing to contribute to the mentoring relationship?

Am I …

  • Easy to believe in?
  • Easy to like and spend time with naturally?
  • Easy to keep helping?
  • Responsive and teachable?
  • One who will respect my mentor?
  • Self-motivated?
  • Willing to be honest?
  • Willing to be vulnerable?
  • Willing to be held accountable?
  • Willing to be committed to being mentored?

How do I find a mentor?

  1. List your mentoring needs
  2. Prioritize your mentoring needs for the next 12 months.
  3. Identify the type of mentor you need.
  4. Pray and ask for God’s leading for a mentor.
  5. Brainstorm possible candidates within your sphere of relationships.
  6. Brainstorm possible candidates outside your sphere of relationships.
  7. Seek advice and input from leaders you respect.
  8. Contact potential mentors and schedule an initial meeting.
  9. Lay out your mentoring needs and why you chose them as a potential mentor.
  10. Identify your preferable outcomes in a mentoring relationship.
  11. Outline what you will contribute to the mentoring relationship.
  12. Suggest a 3-month trial with the possibility of termination or continuance.

To be continued…

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