“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”

—John C. Crosby, 20th Century American politician

Image from Unsplash by krakenimages

What is your personal and professional experience with mentoring and coaching?  How many brains have you picked and how many ears have listened to you before they pushed or pulled you in the right direction?

Where have you been on the other side of this equation where you offered to be there for others in your various communities?

What qualities made these relationships most effective and successful?  What lessons have made the most significant and lasting impact in your life?

EXERCISE:

Where and with whom can you be even more intentional and proactive in your mentoring and coaching efforts? Who can and will you be calling today to ask for or offer this valuable gift?

“Show them the doors that they didn’t know existed.”

“Show them the doors that they didn’t know existed.”

—Paul Jun, on Mentor Programs, The Impresario

Image from Unsplash by Michal Dolnik

Being a mentor and a coach for others is one of the most satisfying and rewarding ways to spend a day. Teaching others and showing them new doors that lead to greater knowledge and opportunities is always accompanied with raised eyebrows and delighted smiles as new worlds emerge.

I have gained a sense of deep appreciation as I watch the parenting strategies of my daughter Rachel and her husband Chris as they direct and guide our three-year-old grandson, Weston. Each day includes new discoveries, new words, and new ways to play in and with his expanding world.

Wendy and I continue to mentor and coach our two children, now in their 30s. It is a pleasure to see how many doors they can now find and open on their own.

EXERCISE:

Who are the mentors and coaches that opened doors in your personal or professional life? How and with whom can you recognize their kindness and generosity by paying forward their gifts with someone deserving your special guidance?

“Mentors are like potato chips: You can’t have just one.”

“Mentors are like potato chips: You can’t have just one.”

—Eric Barker, author of Barking up the Wrong Tree

Image from lays.com

Whether you call them potato chips, crisps, or something else, potato chips are big business, accounting for sales north of ten billion dollars per year.

Countries around the world have unique flavors of chips – all adding to our waistlines! For example:

  • Canada: dill pickle, jalapeño, ketchup and wasabi
  • Indonesia: spicy chicken, nori seaweed, and salmon teriyaki
  • Columbia: lemon, chorizo, sirloin steak, and mushroom sauce
  • Japan: consommé, soy sauce, plum, chili, and scallop
  • United Kingdom: prawn cocktail, beef and onion, spicy sriracha, and aromatic curry

What flavors have you tried? What type of chips do you crave during those naughty moments of self indulgence?

Mentors and coaches, meanwhile, are almost always beneficial and support you in leading a happier, healthier, and more successful life.

EXERCISE:

Where might adding a few more mentors and coaches support your progress towards greater personal and professional achievement?

Even if you don’t formalize these relationships on a one-on-one level, consider the books, blogs, seminars, and other resources from such individuals and how they can support your efforts.

Life is Amazing

“Life is amazing, and the teacher had best prepare himself to be a medium for that amazement.”

—Edward Blishen, 20th Century British author

Image of an eye and eyebrow

Image from Unsplash by Amanda Dalbjorn

Have you heard of Sam Horn? If not, look her up, and strongly consider reading her newsletter and books.

She often shares a concept she calls The Eyebrow Test, which refers to the ideas, concepts, and life events that literally make your eyebrows move upward, demonstrating great interest, or in the case of today’s quote, amazement.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you more fully engage in your own life to experience far more raised eyebrows of amazement?

How can you share such moments or help others in your world experience greater amazement through your potential roles as teacher, mentor, parent, or coach?

The Delicate Balance of Mentoring

“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.”

—Steven Spielberg, American director, producer, screenwriter

Image of Steven Spielberg

image from BBC

Over the past two decades I have had the great honor of coaching close to 100 individuals who were pursuing coaching careers. They all have the common desire and passion to make a positive difference in the lives of others through this special type of relationship.

I am often asked why I have not chosen to build a large organization with dozens of coaches utilizing my coaching approach. The quick and simple answer is that I feel people are better served by finding their own special coaching voice and style. In this way, they create a unique expression of their inherent gift and ability to support those around them.

EXERCISE:

How can your own mentoring and coaching efforts better support those around you in discovering more opportunities to create themselves?

Should you have an interest in pursuing a career in coaching, please feel free to contact me through my website to explore the possibility.