What is the Best Mentoring Advice You Received?

Indispensable Lessons Shared

 

Think of your next mentoring relationship as a pilot program, one with a laser focus on a singular goal that requires a modest commitment on your mentor’s part. Start small and build on your successes with your mentor.

The test of a great mentoring relationship is what you do with the wisdom shared and how you face the new challenges presented. What one indispensable concept have you embraced thanks to your mentor?

This week, I would like to wrap up the theme of “The Mentor Factor” with some inspirational learnings that some of you have shared. My hope is that passing along this information will shape and inform your mentoring journey for the better.

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”
– Plutarch

best mentoring advice imageOne of our readers, who passed along advice from a mentor she knows, shared this:

“From my experience, for every one hour I spent with a mentor over the phone or in person, I easily spent 100 hours listening to their audios and reading the books they recommended, and taking action on the advice they gave me.

Want to get the time and attention of a mentor? First, take their advice before they know who you are. Then once you do get some of their time, it’s really about what you do when they AREN’T there with you that will keep their attention.”

Here is one my favorite lessons from a mentor:

In my 20’s, I worked for a financial services company where there were abundant opportunities to learn, but a toxic and negative culture prevailed. The margin for error was thin and senior management was unforgiving. Thankfully, I had a great boss who served as a buffer and excellent mentor.

One of my favorite lessons came after my boss learned of a scathing critique I received from an executive who was an internal customer. The lesson he taught, simply put, was “Out-mature them.”

In other words, he taught me to be the adult in the room, no matter what. He didn’t advocate putting up with abusive language or behavior, and he certainly didn’t advocate that I present a condescending attitude.

What I learned from his explanation of this brief phrase was:

  • How to remain calm in the heat of the moment
  • How to sort through scathing words to find the legitimate critique, and
  • How to fend off hostility diplomatically.

 

Learning these skills required patience, practice, and much reflection on the motives of others. I have never forgotten it.

What is the best advice your mentor has given you?

 

Share your best mentor stories with us, and we’ll pass them along (confidentially, of course) so others can share in the learning. Email us at kwinsor@thewinsorgroup.com Subject Line: Best Mentor Advice