Professional Mentor?

Posted by Debby on 24th March and posted in EDC 639

Is it possible to be a professional mentor? To have a mentor mentality? Seems like I am in so many different mentoring roles this year, most of which I didn’t actively seek out, but which found me anyhow. I must have an invisible sign on my door that says something like “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”

I like being able to help and yet I worry a little about getting too caught up in their issues. I think a big part of mentoring is making connections – to people, to ideas, to resources. I have to keep in mind that I can’t solve their problems, I can only show them options. Gary’s comment recently in his blog about slipping back into “expert” mode is something I want to be especially wary of. They need to find their own solutions, not adopt mine, because then they haven’t truly accomplished anything. I can share knowledge, but I can’t give it… they have to construct their own meanings and reality through interaction and dialogue. Hmmm… where have I heard that idea before?

  • Neena Giallombardo

    It sounds like you’ve thought about this a lot. You’re awareness I would think would keep you from falling into the “lean on me” category and helps you be a better mentor. Perhaps that is why you are in this position, because people do you see as a good mentor.
    Draw the lines when the time is inflicting itself on your time too much.

  • Edie Fabiyi

    This is good advice Neena.
    In the Mentoring Pocketbook the authors mention a chain of mentoring. Every person you are touching is touching someone else.

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