January 2015 PATHtips!™

adult_groupHappy Mentoring Month!

Thoughts on Mentoring Series – Part 1

Mentors can open doors, support existing circumstances and bring external assets to a youth (or peer) to help bring out the best in the person.  Mentoring is described as many things and comes in all shapes, sizes and textures.  Overall, mentoring can provide a vehicle for the transmission of values, tools, information and support.

What constitutes effective mentoring?   How do we know we are “doing” it correctly?  What makes the relationships sustainable?  What impacts our effectiveness long-term?   This series will consider all of these questions through stories and illustrations of real world circumstances and address each of the framing ideas below.  I challenge you to find your own conclusions and apply your new knowledge to your relationships.  Feel free to comment!  Your practice and experiences are welcome here!

When I think about framing effective mentoring, these characteristics come to mind:

 1. Authentic Relationship

2.  Shared Definition

3.  Shared expectation of the relationship – Why we come together. What we are doing  and outcomes.

4.  Boundaries of responsibility/accountability

5.  Mutual respect – same value; different experiences

1920x1200-single-red-roseLet’s begin our conversation with authentic relationship ….  A rose is still a rose.

How do you describe an authentic relationship?  Authentic – meaning “real; genuine; true to self” – is a deliberate acknowledgement of where we start and stop; our authentic self.  Regardless of the external voices sharing our ought and should; whether we manifest our true nature to ourselves or to others.  A hidden voice is still a voice… a rose is still a rose…

In order to grow, a plant must have a home, sustenance and energy.  Living beings need these things too.

A home provides safety –  not just a roof to shelter from the elements – safety from the external forces to allow an organism to reset, reflect and release.  Safety – a relationship between the barrier of the home and external engagement.

Sustenance provides the cellular level of the organism the ability to maintain itself, replicate itself and grow into all its varied expectations.

Energy is the catalytic force that creates an action on a cellular level to support the reactions and ultimately outcomes of the entity.

These are basic needs.

Philosophically, all “should” have them.    However, in the “real world”, some have a shelter, basic nutrients and glimmers of energy.  Others have effective controls (barriers) that deflect others expectations from stunting  purpose –  allowing the entity to grow according to its inner, cellular explanation of life –

a rose is a rose, unfettered by needing to live up to become the tulip… 

I will grow into a red rose; do not coax me to become a tulip.  Work within my existing shelter – acknowledge my strength, influence my sustenance-share your wisdom, impact the energy that reaches me – show me additional filters without replacing my filters,  and I will become a rose – my inside revealed.

To authentically engage with another, we come into relationship consciously being ourselves – with our shelter, sustenance and energy.   This consciousness must be deliberate, otherwise our “tulip” ideas may inhibit the growth of the truer nature of the person we seek to encourage.

We are more than mentors… we are Hope Relationships™:  people, places and opportunities that move us forward and push us back.  We need them both.

good adviceBottom-line:  Be Authentic.  Base your experiences in Mutual Respect.  Plan to Get and Give Support as you interact with people, places and opportunities.  We are not alone.  Ever.

Be Well!

Ms. Patricia

 PS:  Click here to learn about PATHworks!™ Hope Relationship Experiences for families, individuals and agencies.

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