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The 5 Steps of Mentoring: From Nervousness to Excitement

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This new article by Bookboon author Ella de Jong introduces you to how a mentor, whether a leader, boss or friend, can encourage and inspire their mentee. 

“When someone approaches you and asks you for help and guidance as a mentor, it’s not certain they know exactly what they want from you. Help and guidance are abstract words. Helping your Mentee to describe her goal in detail, helps her to get a clear view on what it is she wants to change in order to achieve her goal. It helps you as a mentor to stick with what the Mentee wants, nothing more, nothing less.”
This is a quote from my eBook Solution Focused Mentoring.

How to help your mentee and turn her or his nervousness into excitement:

  1. As I’ve written before, it helps to speak her language! As such, listen carefully to what kind of analogies she uses, what kind of metaphors. If you can relate to them, I guarantee the nervousness will slide away.
  1. Break the goal down into tiny parts. A large goal can make people nervous. How are they ever going to achieve it?! I use the analogy of making dinner: “How do you (mentee) want the dinner to taste?” Simply describing the main course involves many described tastes. Your (main) goal also has various elements in it. There is no such thing as only one thing to do, to achieve.

Even if you want to walk to the next village, for example, it takes much more than just walking. Your shoes need to be strong enough, you need to arrange food and drink, you need to notify certain people that you will be on the road for a few hours etc.

  1. If your mentee is nervous because they think you are such a fantastic person, excellent at your job, they may not dare to ask certain questions. In this case, just genuinely smile! Be patient and give her time to think. It’s so rewarding to be patient and keep your mouth shut as a mentor, I promise!

When you, as a mentor, are able to do so, your mentee becomes excited:

Why? Because she has heard her little goals coming out of her own mouth. She has expressed the goals she is probably able to achieve.

Why? Because if goals are small, they are doable! She may have already accomplished some of them: and that is an even bigger reason to be excited!

Take a look at my eBook which describes the 5 steps towards helping your mentee to be at her/his best. You, in turn, will also notice that you will be at your best!

More articles from Ella de Jong:

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Solution Focused Mentoring

To find out more about this topic you might want to read “Solution Focused Mentoring”

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