3 Pillars of Mentorship

The leaders we remember in life are often those that didn’t supply their assistance for a singular instance.  Sure they where there when we needed them, but they were also there throughout the time we needed them.  There’s quite a few mentors that have impacted me that I struggle to articulate one particular thing they did that made the impact.  I was sitting down with a friend the other day and finally found the words to what I was missing.  

Jason, when I spend time with you I always feel more capable to tackle the problems I face in life.

Jason isn’t the first person who’s done this.  The true mentors I’ve worked with have managed to carry themselves in a way that empowers others.  So how do we get to the level where we’re doing this with others?  I’d like to propose three essential pillars to mentorship.

Honesty-In some way we all lie to ourselves regardless of the evidence (I’m not going bald, my hair is just taking a vacation).  When we commit to telling ourselves the truth we have more confidence in our demeanor going forward.  We become known for our integrity and build trust.  Trustworthiness attracts those who need help.  This is one reason why when things are hard people turn to their scriptures.  They trust the experiences and words of those books.

Listening-As human beings we are always communicating.  You can’t not communicate.  Regardless of how good your poker face is you’re always telling someone something by the way you sit and respond to what you’re hearing.  When you’re listening don’t try to jump in and talk.  Recognize that you’re already saying something.  If you’re having trouble believing that someone who is silent can’t control an audience, I’d like to challenge you to study Teller, from Penn and Teller.  Teller has been publicly silent for years, but does a tremendous job garnering the focus of audiences of all sizes.  

Self Development-What are you doing to make yourself better?  What are you studying?  Believe it or not this will have an impact on how you see the problems in the now of life.  Our brains are chemical machines that have limited capacity.  Self development keeps them elastic and broadens your ability to relate to your audience.  We’ve all thought little of the mentors who use the same solution and experience as a reference for every problem.  (Every solution doesn’t need a hammer).  Self development is the way to ensure you don’t become one of them.  An efficient way to start is with audiobooks, or with a free podcast, or just reading a book about something you like.

The mentors in your life who made a difference made you feel like you were more capable to tackle your problems.  What are you doing to be that type of mentor to the people in your life?

Feel free to share this with one of your mentors.