Mentoring is written into the fabric of our lives, it turns up everywhere! But we may be more familiar with some of its other names like parenting and role modeling
It can be done by individuals or by groups – we all know about peer pressure, don’t we! In religious circles we talk about discipleship. Big brother programs, buddy systems and apprenticeships are just a few examples of mentoring structures. From the examples I have given, you can see that mentoring can be done well and if done badly can have disastrous effects.
“You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him discover it within himself” — Galileo Galilei
At SYC our particular focus is to facilitate the emergence and expression of the core, real self of those we work with. We are all born beautifully unique, but life happens and in response to circumstances and those around us, we quickly form a protective ‘self’. This ‘self’ is made up of what we have come to believe about and expect from ourselves and the world around us, and we spend our lives protecting, maintaining and enhancing it. All the while our amazing, core, real self lies hidden to the world … and ourselves. Is there a practice that can help us discover who we really are and help us find the courage to bring our real self to those around us? Is there a practice that can help us become the person we know we were made to be?
Yes there is and it’s called mentoring. I am part of a charity called Chapter 2. Chapter 2 has the aim of writing hope into the fatherless story, by training men to mentor lads who no longer have a father at home. In recent years as people have begun to understand the effects of early trauma on us as humans, the proof has emerged that the consistent presence of a trusted adult in a person’s life can reverse and mitigate against some of the worst impacts of trauma. Through this work and my years working with young people and teams at Shift Youth + Community I can attest to the power of mentoring to help an individual break free from their past and discover who they were made to be.
“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.” — Steven Spielberg
We provide training for those who want to mentor others well. Whether you work with troubled young people or simply want to get the best from your team and anything in between.
A good mentor is aware of their own story, their strengths and weaknesses, their own internal world and the sorts of things that ‘trigger’ them. They know how to manage these things so they don’t get in the way of their relationship with the person they are working with. They have learnt how to listen empathically and how to set and maintain boundaries for themselves and others. They understand how personal growth takes place and the role they as mentor play in the growth of those they work with. They know how to give feedback in a way that it can be received, they know when to give advice and when to hold back. They appreciate and can work within the context of history, relationships and systems at play and impacting the mentoring relationship.
Through our training you can begin developing these skills, knowledge and practices that you need to become a good mentor; with coaching you can consolidate your growth even further and become a great mentor. Contact us to find out how we can help you be transformational for those around you, or for more information click here.
“A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could.” Hilary Ziglar