HOW?

As strange as it could see the first ability to be a mentor, is the capacity to ask the right questions. By itself this talent is critical to ensure that mentoring is not placating recipes on a situation. Over my entire life, I have been privileged to meet different people and to listen to an infinite set of experiences, journeys, personal stories.

 

It is that unique moment when I receive the privilege of the confidence and trust f the person or the group that makes the exchange –yes, it is an exchange- of mentoring so valuable.

One-on-One individual mentoring

Most mentoring is one-on-one. It is in that context that confidence and trust can be created between two individuals. Sometimes the addition of a significant one can also help elaborating on a decision that will affect a family life. Building the consensus at those moments is a key to the success of this delicate transition.

Short Term

Mentoring does not need, like psychotherapy is, to be marked by strict periodicity or a commitment in the duration. Not every change is dramatic and I know that, in some cases, a single long conversation has produced the right effect and fulfilled the expectation. Often enough, even those single opportunities, will lead, sometimes after a few weeks or months, to a few other encounters or thoughts to satisfy the need for the realization of the project.

Medium Term

Some professional and personal transitions fundamental issues that are unresolved: do I want to be an investment banker or go and work for a corporation? Do I like the sector I am working in? How can I get training to effectuate the move? There are thousands of different ways those questions emerge. Let’s face it, when it is about oneself, they tend to be more painful or dramatic than they need to be. Importantly enough, technology has enabled those mentoring to be practiced through internet, phone, videoconference …

Groups

While Group mentoring is not often used, I noticed that some transitions or crises inside a group affect several people and that the solution has to be found by and within the Group. This is not unusual when outside or inside evolution creates a form of anxiety within a group.

 

Change is the rule. When it happens it can disturb a group of even high-powered and efficient individuals. Talking about it as a group facilitates the empowerment and buy-in of the change.

Issue Specific

Sometimes the demand for mentoring is coming from a specific issue that arises from circumstances and can be focused on this issue. It does not, however, need to be the case. Life provides moments where uneasiness and discomfort cannot be allocated to one or two specific issues. Sorting out the source of the uneasiness and the way it unfolds in real life can be helpful.

 

Among the specific requests I met in my life, the most frequent events are:


Career or personal evolution that requires moving away from home, especially when it is in another culture.

Acquisition of a company that will necessitate reorganization

Financial crisis that provokes uncertainty and stress

Difficulty to move one’s aspirations to the next level

Doubts about the adaptation to working environment

Conflicts with the hierarchy