Monday, July 13, 2009

Informal Mentoring is Collaboration

The previous post generated an email which asked "by your definition of informal mentoring, have you just described consensus?"

Ha! Nope. I suppose that would be true if I believed that the opinion/viewpoint gathering was meant to dictate the outcome. But, as I've said before in this blog, sometimes everyone else is wrong when you're right.

Maybe I didn't say it quite that baldly.

Mentors, formal and informal, are not a committee who must all agree on what you should/should not do. They are guides and offer guidelines. Heck, I don't even want my son to take all my advice at face value - if he's not thinking for himself and challenging my assumptions then it'll be a rocky adulthood!

Mentors are part of the collaboration that exists in any community. Folks offer input. One listens with respect and interest even if the end result is discarding the idea offered.

Mentoring is a collaboration.

Which prompts me to ask: what have you done for your mentor lately? And is there a Hallmark card for Mentor Day?

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