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Structured mentoring – an oxymoron?

A good mentor does not tell their mentee what to do. Mentoring is first and foremost about listening, asking questions, and providing a sounding board augmented by sharing the mentors experience (when appropriate) and highlighting options.

It is the mentee's responsibility to come up with issues they struggle with, and the mentor’s responsibility to help the mentee find the solutions.

In my many years as a mentor of SME owners/managers I have come across 3 scenarios:

1. Long-term – the relationship built up, and I became a (non-official) NED.

2. Short-term – after a few months the mentee had no more questions to ask, and we departed as friends.

3. Non-starter – the prospect mentee was not interested in an unstructured method as described in the first paragraph above. They were looking for a structured process that will lead them to the desired results.

The short-term and non-starter scenarios are what led me to create STRATAGILITY®.

Having a structure and clear deliverables it is more appealing to the non-starters and can turn the short-term into long-term engagements, but the magic is in maintaining the mentoring principles: it does not tell the mentee what to do. It provides then with the tools to find it themselves and put it into action.

Mentors have a tool that converts more leads and increase the longevity of mentoring relationships.

Mentees find it more appealing.

So, the short answer to the question in the title is “No”. There is a way to apply structure to mentoring while maintaining its principles.


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