“Humility consists in not esteeming ourselves above other men, and in not seeking to be esteemed above them.”
Saint Francis de Sales
Anything that you don’t value doesn’t stay with you for long. This principle applies to mentoring too. Since mentoring is first a relationship, before a learning space, valuing mentoring simply means valuing the relationship. Until you value and esteem each other in the relationship, it is often very difficult to value the learning.
How then can we esteem mentoring relationships in order to get the best out of it? Here are three (3) secrets.
Find something to Value
One person cannot make a relationship. It takes two to tango! So, whether you are a mentor or mentee, you need the other person to be functional. This simple truth has to be recognized and valued. In mentoring, never think of yourself as superior to the other. And I think this would apply more to mentors. As a mentor, you may have all the skills, knowledge and experience, but you need someone who is willing to learn, in order to impact that person. So, the mentee is also very important.
Find something to Learn
Research indicates that in every mentoring relationship, both mentors and mentees learn from each other. This isn’t just a fact. It is truth. It all begins with the consciousness and readiness to open up oneself to learn. I have a toddler at home, and he has taught me a lot. My learning from him has been possible because I have that awareness that he can teach me. In mentoring, always ask yourself: if the mentoring relationship is to end today, what lessons would I have learned from my mentor or mentee? With this consciousness, learning is made easier.
Find something to Forgive
Both mentors and mentees are humans! Just as they have strengths, they also have weaknesses. They are all fallible. So, when you get hurt or offended by your mentor or mentee, make room for forgiveness. Then try to resolve the issue amicably. Afterwards, clear your mind and move on. To err is human and to forgive, divine.
As I said in the beginning, anything that you don’t value, doesn’t stay with you for long. So, in order to keep your mentoring relationship for long and maximize its fullest potential, don’t forget to value and esteem it.