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Ask first!

Standing in the kitchen, Monic passed me the jar of beetroot.
Having tried to open it already, Monic didn’t have to say anything, the look in her eyes said it all… “can you open that please?”
Taking the jar from her hands, I gave it a go.
Holding the jar in my left hand, I tried to open the jar with my stronger right hand.
No joy.
Holding the jar in my right hand, I tried to open the jar with my left hand.
Reflecting now on that silly moment – as expected, no joy!
“Try holding it under hot water” Monic said.
Under it went. Several attempts later, and after straining my right wrist – still no joy.
“Try it with a cloth” Monic said.
With my right wrist strained, it was back to holding it with my right hand and then trying with my left hand.
No joy.
Monic took the jar back again.
“I remember my mum said if I pry a knife under the lid, it may let a little air in and that may help” – said Monic.
So, taking a knife she pried it under the lid. Hey presto “pop” went the lid, a little twist with her hand – job done!
Moral of the story….
Pause, reflect and ask the question first…
“Has your mum given you any tips as to how to open that jar?” 😅

So, you want to be a mentor?

“So you want to improve your 𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 skills” I asked. “Yes indeed” came the reply.
This week, I have spent a lot of time in 1-1 sessions, helping individual mentors improve their mentoring skills.
Here are my 𝐭𝐨𝐩 𝟏𝟎 𝐭𝐢𝐩𝐬 for guidance.
  • 𝐋𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐧 with compassion, empathy and understanding – Deep or Active Listening.
  • 𝐀𝐬𝐤 𝐐𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬, be curious, seek clarity, probe, ask why and help each mentee to ask questions of themselves.
  • 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐞 – move their learning from their comfort zone to their stretch zone.
  • Give of your 𝐓𝐢𝐦𝐞, frequently, consistently, intimately, 1-1
  • Be fully 𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐭. When you meet, create a psychologically safe space, and ensure there are no distractions.
  • Storytelling. Share your experiences that helped you succeed. Bring your stories to life.
  • Make a 𝐏𝐥𝐚𝐧, set objectives and begin with the end in mind.
  • Provide 𝐒𝐮𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭 & 𝐄𝐧𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 to your mentee to push through difficult challenges. Be a trusted sounding board.
  • 𝐀𝐝𝐯𝐢𝐬𝐞 & 𝐑𝐞𝐟𝐫𝐚𝐦𝐞 – make suggestions, offer different perspectives to help a mentee become unstuck through self-reflection.
  • Give 𝐂𝐨𝐫𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 & 𝐈𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 from time to time, to avoid potential pitfalls.