By Mayowa Gidado.
I am writing not only from how I’ve come to see MENTORING over time; but also from how it has evolved for me over the years with the people whom God has led across my way and given me the awesome privilege to be such to. I believe that to be someone another person looks up to for friendship, guidance and direction in life, is one of the most awesome and humbling blessings of this life.
That said, I feel mentoring is one life drawing close to another and pouring into same with passion, wisdom and humility. It is simply the sharing of life. The initiator could be from either end. An individual could see someone s/he feels s/he wants to be close to and learn from by sharing. It could also be the other who sights the one and draws close for the purpose of closeness, mentoring and sharing of life.
The mentor is usually older but doesn’t necessarily have to be, because when it comes to the matter of sharing lives, what’s paramount is that the mentee sees the mentor as someone they respect, whose views and thoughts on stuff, matter; and whose leading and counsel they are willing to consider/submit to.
I personally don’t believe in making it all formal or clearly defining the relationship into structures. I feel whenever it is necessary, it would evolve by itself. The only thing that is sacrosanct is that two lives draw near, bond and share at very deep levels.
Below are some of the qualities I feel are required for effective mentoring:
- Genuine Interest: In this age where being a life coach and claims to a large following are in vogue, most mentors are more in it for themselves than the mentee. For effective mentoring with enduring results however, a genuine interest and desire to help is imperative.
- Commitment: The demands that effective mentoring requires can be tasking and quite daunting. A huge dose of commitment would be required to follow through and not abandon ship when challenges set in.
- Sensitivity: An art that’s fast disappearing in our “me” age is listening. But a huge world of impact and possibilities can be unlocked by simply mastering this simple art. And while on it, a quick tip would be to learn to listen as much to what’s not being explicitly said, as to what is. A lot of times, people would need help to get to what exactly they are trying to say. So they give cues and tips and hope the listener can hear what’s unsaid in the midst of what’s being said.
- Asking Questions: Someone says most doors in life are locked; to get them to open, you got to come up with an effective knock. Asking the right questions at the right points, is probably one of the most effective ways to unlock the doors to crevices and dark corners of human hearts.
- Love: If you haven’t mastered any of the above but you’ve got this in a good measure, it would suffice. It is often said that people may not remember what you said or did; but they will remember how you made them feel. Love communicates and people can know when they are genuinely loved; and it would almost certainly provoke a response. You can simply love people into their greatest potentials.
We all need a helping hand along life’s journey. That lady said it aptly when she said “we are here for all us”. So let’s start talking, and bonding, and helping one another.
If this helps you to reach out, listen more, reach out more and love more; I’ll consider my job done.