Welcome back to The Mentor Me Series. At this point, you’ve been able to look at how you’re really doing and the important things impacting your life right now. Before we begin today, has anything changed since you did the first step, anything that might impact what you’re hoping to accomplish? If so, take a moment to get it out, on paper, in a prayer, dictate it through an app, however you need to share it, share it.
I’m pausing here to say a prayer for you/with you:
“God, please help__________with what’s on their heart right now. You know their circumstances and how important their situation is to You and to them. Give them a clear mind and the ability to see what they need to do to grow, and help me as I mentor them. Guide us through this process and give us wisdom. Amen.”
Now on to….
Step Number Two – Your Contribution: What’s My Goal?
A mentoring relationship works best if you clearly define what you’re hoping to attain in the process. This means one objective at a time, not a dozen. One. Clear. Objective. Be careful that you don’t just define the problem. Rather, define what you’re hoping to gain. For example, your problem might be, “I’m unhappy at work.” Your goal might then be, “Come to a definite conclusion as to whether I should stay at this job or quit.” Another example of a problem, “I’m juggling too many balls in the air and each one seems like it’s critical. I don’t know what to do.” Your goal might be, “Define what I want my life to look like and what I need to do to make it that way.”
It may take several tries to be able to focus in and articulate what you want out of being mentored. But, getting clear about what you really want is essential to this process. Take your time. Once you know what you want, write it down.
Step Number Two – My Contribution: What is Your Goal?
I‘m very interested in what you’re hoping to gain here. Why? I really care about you! On the other hand, I’m not sitting in judgment of what it is that you want. From that perspective, in the best way possible I gently say, “It doesn’t matter to me what your goal is, because it’s your goal. It’s clearly important to you and there’s a reason why you’ve chosen it. I want you to know I’m cheering you on and am shoulder to shoulder with you in spirit. I’m hoping the best for you and I’m in this with you as long as you are.
Defining what you want will bring a clarity and purpose that’s necessary to moving forward. It might also bring some excitement, or at least a glimmer of hope that a solution is imminent. I’m looking to see if that’s the case with you, or if things have been so difficult that it may be a while before you’re able to see that glimmer. It’s still early in the process, however, there is the possibility that as you define your goal, you might begin to see the potential for solutions. The more you try to define what it is you really want, the more you focus on positive outcomes. It may begin to nudge you out of the tough place you’re in. Like I said, it’s a bit early for this, but if it’s starting already – wonderful.
Speaking of expectations and perspective…very important tip: keep your expectations fluid! You may have defined your reality clearly, you may have set a great goal without too much effort because it was fairly obvious to you. But, be ready to accept insights that come when you least expect them. At any time in this process you may suddenly see that what you want is not what you need at all. You may realize that what you saw as a negative impact on your life has really been helpful in several ways, or vice-versa. If this happens, you may think that everything you’ve done so far has just gone out the window. Not so! Intentional work is never wasted. If you hadn’t done the work you might not have gotten the insight. So, accept new insights as they come, wherever they come in the process. Changing goals, changing how you see things affecting you, these are not bad changes – in fact, they are positive signs of growth! Your expectations of how this will go do not need to dictate the benefits of very different results. Expect change, accept change – and keep moving forward.
I’m looking forward to our next meeting. We’ll be talking about The Mentor Me Series – Step Three – Resources. (Hint – The most important are readily available!)