How to Avoid Too Much Control in Mentoring : 3 Steps for Mentees.
''We determine our destiny by the actions we take today'' Catherine Pulsifer
Sometimes, most young people are not attracted to mentoring because they fear they may be controlled by their mentors. Yes! Like any relationship, controlling can sometimes, unfortunately, happen in mentoring too. But if mentees know what to do, they can avoid it. I often encourage young people to be aware of their mentoring environment, especially during the early stages of mentoring. In order to identify any red flags and seek help as early as possible, here are three (3) key steps.
Make commitment limited.
Don’t commit your entire life to a mentor. At the early stages of a mentoring relationship, choose to focus on a few objectives for a given period of time, test the outcome, and decide if this mentor is a person you choose to be influenced by. Don’t commit too much to the point that you can be controlled. Always remember this - the only one who should have total control over your life is God! Your mentor doesn’t have that right … because (s)he is human.
Seek the perspective of trusted outsiders.
Your mentor alone isn’t the repository of all the knowledge you’re looking for. Whatever (s)he knows, is also known by other people. When you begin to sense any form of control, consult other knowledgeable and trusted people. If you are in a formal mentoring program, let your concerns be known by program coordinators. The opinion of others can bring clarity.
Make sure you can regain control
At any stage in a mentoring relationship, always ask yourself this question: ‘Can I regain my control now if I want to’? If your answer is yes, you are safe. If you answer no, it may be a good time to re-evaluate the relationship, and maybe, begin to seek help.
Controlling isn’t a healthy practice for any relationship and this includes mentoring.
We can help
In case you’re caught up in a complicated mentoring relationship, and feel you need to talk to someone, don’t hesitate to touch base with MeetMentors.
If you also need a mentor to support your goals, we’re available to help. Take a look at #ourmentors.