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The Gift of Learning: How Managers Can Become Mentors

Yesterday, we hosted a free webinar, Managers as Mentors: Building Partnerships for Learning, with Dr. Chip Bell, the founder of The Chip Bell Group. Dr. Bell is a well-known consultant and a sought-after speaker. Close to 200 people listened to the webinar live.

You may view the archived webinar here.

Dr. Bell began his presentation with this quote by author Carl Rogers, “No one can teach anyone anything of significance. The goal of teaching (or mentoring) is to help another person remember, renew and make ready to use. It is not about transmitting knowledge, it is about facilitating discovery that leads to understanding.”

He emphasized how keeping in mind the goals of teaching (or mentoring) will help you became a better teacher (or mentor).

There are Four Challenges of Mentoring that are vital to understanding how partnerships can be built.

  1. Learning is a door opened only from the inside. How do you get the protegé to open that door?
  2. Learning is all about taking risks. How can I create a safe haven for my protegé to learn?
  3. We are not just conveying our knowledge – we are trying to provide insight. What do I need to do to make that occur?
  4. What do I do to encourage and support the transfer of learning?

So what is mentoring…really?  Mentoring is the part of the leader or coach’s role that has learning as its primary outcome.

A good mentoring partnership has five key features:  focus, family, feeling, freedom, and a shark. Tune in to the archived webinar if you want to know more, and understand how exactly a shark is a feature. Because it is. A very important one!

As adults, we need to feel relevance when we are learning. We need an immediate application. Adult learners need to tie what we know to something we love. It is often the only way the message will stick. Learning is anchored to the heart.

Another key piece to the mentoring puzzle is the sense of reciprocity. When we learn together, we form a partnership. When we have a sense of partnership, we become more open to learning.

There are many barriers to creating those needed relationships and many challenges. Time, rapport building, humility (knowing there is something you need to learn, and not being afraid to ask for it), and opening up of yourself, to name a few.

It is ok to make mistakes. It is actually good to make them. You can learn from mistakes and you can teach from mistakes.

Dr. Bell also discussed “Dramatic Listening without Judgement”.  This type of listening is different than active listening as there are several facets of it. When you participate in dramatic listening, you look like you are listening and you listen to learn. There are no distractions. There is nothing else. It is important to bring your best self and to be judgement-free.

It is also imperative to ask permission to give advice. Your protegé will be much more likely to heed your advice when it is delivered in a kind way with a sense of partnership behind it. Praise without critique. You can always critique later – but often there is no need.  Glow and grow.

To fully understand all of the concepts that are mentioned here, you must watch it yourself. The webinar is just under an hour. Make it a gift to yourself and go learn something new.

Sign up to make sure you don’t miss our next free webinar on August 13th.

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