Don`t I have enough willpower? Why would I need someone to lecture me about subjects I can readily figure out by myself?
Have you ever thought this? You may never have said it out loud, but deep down this is what goes trough your mind when encountering the term «Mentoring».
I have, with my lack of knowledge regarding the subject, ignorantly associated these key words with mentoring ;
– Building confidence
– «Associate programs»
Last but not least is the word «Encouragement» I highly associated with mentoring.
Unfortunately for me, and for many others, which I am baldly claiming; that mentoring has been subjected to a «fuzzy» framework. After researching and reading up on the subject I have still not come to terms with how to go forward with acquiring a mentor, keeping the relationship after acquiring one and most importantly; what are the boundaries for both parties?
The more I read, the more I come to the conclusion that mentoring is an individual phenomenon and is created in relations. Obviously, the framework is more established in organisations that have developed «mentoring programs» for employees.
Then, why have a mentor?
Let me tell you why by describing how I meet my mentor without him nor me knowing about it.
After starting on my masters degree, which was a big transition that I looked forward to, I had big expectations of what kind of lecturers I would be assigned. I only categories lecturers in to two categories; interesting and not interesting.
This lecturer I have in mind did something very surprising the very first day. He walked in to the room with everyone excited about how he would be and how he would give his lectures and gave a brilliant lecture. At the end of the lecture I went back to my temporary run down hotel-room, which I was currently living in because it is impossible to find affordable and proper flats in London, and thought that this lecturer gave me exactly what I needed! The thing I needed was the truth. He was inspiring not condescending, knowledgeable still not a «know-it-all» and humble not arrogant. In addition to these qualities he had a rare skill of presenting you the reality of work life and business without seeming negative, thus displaying a great trust in my abilities.
After I delivered my master thesis I invited him to quest speak and coach in a workshop I was holding in Oslo which, luckily for me, he agreed to do. Would this technically make him my mentor?
«Have a seat lad, let me tell you how thing works»
Set aside what he taught me in class, he made me understand that patience is a virtue without saying it to me. He guided me through my scrambled thoughts in the job-hunt without telling me how and what mindfulness meant by displaying great integrity.
I understand now that mentoring is not about me «having a seat» to understand nor weak or strong willpower. Mentoring is about growing as a person without someone telling you to!
Wondering which brilliant lecturer of the year 2013 this is? Follow him on twitter!