People will remember your relationship skills,
your honesty, candor and integrity ... or your lack of it.
Short-term Coaching & Long-term Mentorship
We apply systemic psychology to goals or projects
depending on a person's desires and needs. Short-term coaching can
define and plan specific goals, while long-term mentorship helps
people build lives with meaning and integrity.
Short-term coaching and long-term mentorship overlap. Both
coaching and mentorship helps people develop. Both coaches and mentors
are approachable and available. Both coaching and mentorship
can be applied to most fields of human abilities and excellence.
Emotional Maturity .
Emotional Reality .
. Emotional Baggage
Coaching is not mentoring although a coach might also be a
mentor and either may be a role model. Building and maintaining these
relationships require different personal qualities and relationship
skills. Longer, deeper relationships increase bonding, but risk
entanglement and mentor damage.
|You assist people to clarify
and achieve specific goals within specified times. You are expert
in resolving emotional problems that block success.
||You guide people to fulfill
some part of their lives. You are expert in the mentored topic or you are
expert in helping people develop skills, attitudes and relationships.
||You are a useful model for behaviors
or skills which someone wants to emulate or replicate.
While most of us are specialists in helping people manage
relationship problems and emotional problems, we may also act
as advisers, role models, advocates, guides, listeners, provocateurs,
visionaries and facilitators.
Accelerated Learning .
Mentors & Mentorship .
Coaching, Mentorship & Role Models
Those who want to improve or develop often seek people who offer
appropriate guidance and/or support. Coaching is often described as
helping people clarify their goals and develop strategies toward
achieving those goals. As a coach, you can share your professional
Mentorship can be described as the influence, guidance or
direction exerted by a trusted and experienced guide. A mentor may
refer to an experienced leader or manager who helps less experienced people
develop their capabilities.
You may be chosen as a role-model for skills and behavior.
Role models may be living or dead, or even imaginary. If you are chosen as
a role model - your actions may be copied and replicated. Even your refusal
to cooperate may be modeled and replicated.
What is a Mentor Relationship?
The original Mentor was described by an ancient Greek writer as
Odysseus' trusted counselor. Mentor was responsible for Odysseus'
estate and his son's education.
At your best, you will inspire
people to create visions that provide sense or purpose in life. A mentor role
will challenge your maturity, expertise and relationship skills. Effective mentors
encourage a profound affirmation of life. Ineffective mentors can seriously
hurt or damage people - even with good intentions.
advisors, people with experience willing to share their
knowledge; supporters, people who give emotional and moral
encouragement; tutors, people who give specific feedback on one's
performance; masters, in the sense of employers to whom one is
apprenticed; sponsors, sources of information about and aid in obtaining
opportunities; models of identity, of the kind of person one should be ..."
Effective mentors build mutual respect, trust, clarity and empathy.
They share your experience, wisdom and expertise. They are good
listeners, observers and problem-solvers. They try to understand and respect a
person's goals and interests. They create space in which people can develop.
Different people require different attention, information and
encouragement. People may not know what questions to ask, what information they
need, or what options are possible. As a mentor, you may answer questions and
challenge people to develop critical thinking, self-discipline and good habits.
Are you a good listener? Can you hear what a person is saying
without interpreting or judging? Do you pay attention to hidden
agendas shown by body language? When you think you have understood a
point, do you check whether you have understood correctly? Convey
empathy and understanding.
Arrange regular meetings and try to anticipate problems.
Assume that people who need help may not ask for assistance. Even people
who are progressing well need occasional serious conversations.
Discuss ethical issues and integrity to help people
prepare for ethical questions that arise. Discuss potential conflicts
of interest and help people understand misconduct: What would you do
if asked to do something immoral or illegal? What would you do if your
friend, colleague or boss acts unethically?
If you mentor people from a different cultural
background to your own, try to understand each person as a unique
individual. Mentoring people from other cultures can help you broaden your
horizon. If you can welcome ethnic, sexual and cultural diversity,
you strongly and positively affect their development.
If you are puzzled or irritated by a person,
check yourself for irritating habits,
cultural biases or ethnocentrism.
Family Issues, Disability & Intimacy
Sometimes people need extra support, such as when having a baby,
raising children alone,
caring for a parent, suffering marital problems, or juggling a two-career
partnership. You might refer people to a systemic coach, or other
professionals. Help people find assistance for mental or physical
If you mentor people to whom you feel attracted, avoid any appearance
of romantic interest. Inappropriate intimacy may
result in unpleasant consequences. Avoid
misunderstandings with common sense and clear communication.
Mentor & Therapy Damage
Not all people want to be mentors, and many people
who proclaim themselves as mentors lack even the most basic mentorship
skills. Inappropriate mentorship can seriously hurt those people
being mentored. Mentor damage is common.
People damaged by inappropriate mentors may avoid further
mentorship - by anybody. They have been hurt and they may assume that
further mentorship will produce further hurt. The consequences of
mentor damage are similar to
spiritual abuse - and
can be remedied during systemic coaching.
Mentor relationships tend to be deep and long-term. If a person needs
short-term relationship coaching, success planning, rapid skill acquisition
or accelerated learning - arrange
systemic coaching, which is unlikely to result in emotional bonding and subsequent
People in mentor relationships may experience unexpected problems and emotions
as the relationships evolve. Mentorship follows four general phases:
1. initiation, 2. cultivation, 3. independence & 4. redefinition (Kram 1985)
||A new mentor relationship becomes
important to both mentor and mentored. Both create expectations and
perhaps transferences and entanglements. (The most common mentorship
entanglement seems to be
||2 - 5 years
||Both mentor and mentored test their
expectations from the first phase. Both can explore the value of
their relationship and clarify boundaries.
||6 - 24 months
||As the need for mentorship fades, one or both may
experience confusion and loss.
Another mentor can be a resource or a liability during this time.
||One or both recognize that a mentor
relationship is no longer appropriate. They may become
friendly peers, resentful competitors or ignore each other.
A mentor relationship can begin with creating trust and
connection through careful questions and active listening. Without this
foundation, the likelihood of a meaningful mentor relationship is low.
Instead, a guru-devotee relationship may begin, at high cost to
Inappropriate bonding can lead to distress. If a mentor relates
to people as substitutes for friends, children or partners, or if a
mentor is perceived as a substitute parent or older sibling,
separation may be painful. When such transferences spontaneously
resolve, one or both may experience negative emotions
and avoid the other.
Being a mentor may include building relationships,
providing information, facilitating and challenging, and perhaps being
a role model while inspiring people to create and achieve worthwhile goals.
An appropriate mentor can inspire you to develop your personal and professional
Do you want to resolve emotional and relationship issues?
Online Life Coaching, Mentoring
& Soulwork Therapy
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