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About: About
About: About

MENTORING IS INFLUENCE, NOT AUTHORITY

In Mentoring, we are pursuing influence and not authority. Why? The impact is more significant than authority because we are after change and in transition.

 

Here's A Scenario Of How Influence Is Greater Than Authority:

Suppose you were driving down the interstate, and you passed by a state trooper on the side of the road. Instantly, you remember not to wear your seatbelt because you generally don't when wearing a nice shirt. You snap it on quickly, but a few minutes later, you see it's too late:  blue and red flashing lights are in your rearview mirror. You feel sick and pull over as quickly as you can safely. The state trooper hesitates even getting out of the car, which makes your anxiety go through the roof. When they finally reach your window, they ask for your license and registration and ask, "Do you know why I pulled you over?"

Of course, you admit it and explain why you forgot to buckle up – "I have a nice shirt on and a presentation today. There's not a good enough excuse, and the state trooper writes you a ticket and then says, "Please drive safely."

Are you going to buckle up? Of course, you are. You just got a ticket, and this guy can write another or revoke your license altogether.

Scenario Two:

You pull into your driveway at lunchtime, an hour before your presentation. Your kids notice you don't have your seatbelt on, and they ask why: "Why don't you have it on?"

And you try the weak excuse: "I have a presentation in an hour, and I don't want my shirt to be wrinkled."

 

And your children respond: "You tell us to wear ours so that we'll still be around in case we're ever in an accident. The car can be replaced, but we can't."

 

And on your way out after lunch, you buckle up even though you will have a wrinkled shirt for your presentation.

 

Why? Because of influence. Influence isn't a guilt kind of thing. Because of the influence of love from your children, you won't risk doing something that could jeopardize your life.

Now let's think about the state trooper: you didn't put on the seatbelt because he told you to have a nice day. You did it out of fear of authority. But influence can permanently alter the motivations of your heart.

 

Authority can't touch your heart. It can make you obey and seem to make a change – at least while everyone else is looking.

 

But long-term, genuine, lasting change will always happen through influence.

 

Clients will give mentors what they want if we need to be more careful in mentoring. They will often allow you to tell them what to do. At Positive Peer Mentoring, we mentor you so you can become the best you possible. 

COUNSELING VS. MENTORING

What Does It Mean?

COUNSELING FOCUSES ON THE FOLLOWING:

  1. The Past (Looking Back)

  2. Fixing

  3. Diagnosing

  4. Expert (Counselor Is The Expert)

 

MENTORING FOCUSES ON THE FOLLOWING:

  1. The Future (Looking At Present, Future, And Ahead)

  2. Creating

  3. Solutions

  4. Co-Equal (Mentoring We Work Together As Equals)

MENTORING IS AN AUTHENTIC RELATIONSHIP

The following information has been adopted from The Life Coach Training Institute training.

The foundation of mentoring is relationships. Or, perhaps, better said: "Mentoring is a relationship." Any transformation that takes place will result from the transference of life on life – not energy information. Relationships happen first, and change follows.

Mentoring might seem like a no-brainer, and there is a tendency to skim past this without fully understanding it because it sounds too basic.

But the truth is, the average person only does relationships sometimes. If we don't already engage in healthy relationships, it's an impairment to how well we will mentor.

The Mentoring relationship requires the following:

  1. Trust

  2. Clear communication

  3. Transparency (Unconditional Love)

  4. Accountability

  5. Belief

  6. Vulnerability

TRUST:

 

We will define trust here as faithfulness, reliability, and basic promise-keeping.

For example, if I sit on my recliner in the living room to watch T.V., I won't examine it to see if it can support my weight. I will sit down with zero thoughts or hesitation about the matter. Sitting down is not an effort on my part; it is simply because of the chair's character. I have an experience with the integrity and soundness of the chair that enables me to have faith. In other words, I can lose weight because the chair has been faithful and reliable.

In relationships, trust is an intangible quality built on a person's faithfulness, consistently revealing that their words and actions are consistent. There are no holes that call for a reinvestigation.

CLEAR Communication:

 

Clear communication means knowing what is expected of me in the relationship. There are little or no grey areas. And if there are doubts about meaning, there is an openness to asking for clarification.

Communication goes together with trust, as trust means giving the benefit of the doubt that if there is a hole, it's most likely a lack of communication rather than an integrity issue.

 

TRANSPARENCY (UNCONDITIONAL LOVE):

 

Transparency is a complete offering of yourself - inside and out. A portion of our life could be researched scientifically to provide a history of where we've been or what we've done. When we offer that history, it is an essential part of being transparent.

Internal transparency is a very different matter. It answers questions of belief and being.

 

Some of the questions to help with transparency at Positive Peer Mentoring include:

  • How are you doing?

  • How are you feeling?

  • What do you believe?

  • How do you feel about this topic?

 

In most cases, we give generic answers to these questions: Good. Okay. Fine. Transparency requires us to be brutally honest and confront the fear of rejection.

We've added unconditional love because that's what we're discussing here. How much can we say, how far can we go, and the other person not reject us?   There is no unconditional love unless people know what our conditions are.

ACCOUNTABILITY:

When we trust people and give them the benefit of the doubt, we pursue authentic relationships where we are genuinely accountable to one another. That means that when perceived shortcomings, doubts, or unbelief creep in, we can confront one another without fear of repercussions.

It also means that when we are aware of our shortcomings (though the others may not be), we go to them and share our faults to remain accountable. In this sense, proper accountability should only sometimes have to be requested.

BELIEF:

The fundamental belief is that I give you the benefit of the doubt in every situation. Sometimes heart and actions don't always line up, and there is confusion. It does not mean that I won't have questions. However, it does mean that I believe the best about you.

VULNERABILITY:

When I come to the place of being vulnerable, it means that I'm sharing something that might make me less desirable, less "legendary" to others, or weaker in the eyes of you and others. It reveals a weakness in the armor that could be exploited.

So how do your current relationships stack up to those against these characteristics? If you're like most, it could be better. The average person likely has one connection that can pass the test. And, in all likelihood, most people have zero relationships that can pass the test.

Vulnerability isn't a time to get down on our perceived lack of genuine relationships; it's an excellent opportunity to take steps to have the kinds of relationships we want and need.

To attain those relationships, we cultivate them, which means I intentionally create an environment to grow them.

CULTIVATING THE MENTORING RELATIONSHIP:

Cultivating these characteristics of the coaching relationship means stepping into some scary unknown places for the coach and the client. A coach will only see the ultimate success of a changed life once they know the condition of a person's heart.

I like to use the example of fishing. When you go fishing, and the pole starts bending down, the rod is only bending because it's snagged something. That something could be anything. But the pole bending is the result that there's something below the surface. Until we go there, it's anyone's guess.

It's the heart of a mentor to go after things under the surface and to believe in the client enough to take responsibility and choose change.
 

As social beings, we learned how to be social survivalists in elementary school. We carefully managed our reputations and never took risks to maintain relationships and maintain face.

Even as adults, if you look at an individual's presence in social media – Twitter, Facebook, etc. – you only see the facet of their life that they are willing to share. Very little of it is risky. People often share what they had for breakfast but not their greatest fear. They'll share a photo of themselves at a bar toasting with friends, but they won't share how they felt alone most of the night while surrounded by people.

We all look pretty impressive on social media.

This will carry on at some level in your mentoring relationship. It's important to note that your clients will only reveal the persona that you will allow them to share.

We must stress that there is only one us – not just the professional one, not just the family one, not just the friend one.

Begin cultivating an authentic relationship by sharing what you don't share on Facebook.

Some of the questions to help with cultivating relationships at Positive Peer Mentoring include:

  • Who are you, really?

  • What are your dreams?

  • What have been your fears?

  • What have been your failures?

  • This level of sharing will not make you lose credibility.

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