Friday, April 12, 2013

On mentoring

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I think this is one of the most difficult things one can do for others - and on the other hand the easiest. It's very risky - and it's also very rewarding. It enables you to sort out your thoughts - but you can also confuse others.

I was recently talking with two different people - embarking on different challenges, but both needing advice. One was from the perspective of a people manager, one from the perspective of an employee being managed. Both have one thing in common: rather new in role (or not so experienced), and both working for corporations. Both young - but bold and with a strong desire to succeed and be the best.

So - what kind of advice I could give them? (and before continuing: don't try to guess the persons, it will be useless ;-) )

Actually - the WHAT is not important for this post. More important is how I FELT when talking with them. In both situations it was very ad-hoc (like visiting, having a coffee, after a movie etc.). Completely unprepared. Completely random discussion. Going in all directions. Seeing the other sipping my words. Sorting out ideas as I was talking - gosh, I had so much to share, and such little time!

And then - at one point - we realized we had to stop: going home, or important meeting, or somebody interrupting - whatever. BUT before doing that - I felt the need to do one important thing: summarize the 2-3 things I thought were THE MOST important, and that the other HAD to remember.

And when summarizing - all the ideas were suddenly so clear for me as well, so surprisingly clear, and really the essential points of who I actually was.

Because when I was going through the various topics, and through all those experiences, and I was talking about THEM - I was actually talking about MYSELF, my experiences, my learnings, my mistakes and my great achievements.

And it felt good to share!

How was your latest experience? Were you mentoring or mentored?

Looking forward to your shared experiences!