As mentor and coach, I have been privileged to talk to a good number of young people. Young men and women experiencing life at different levels and stages; new in employment, young entrepreneurs, those caught up in the crisis of career choice, the jobless, etcetera.
It’s always interesting picking their minds. I absolutely enjoy the sessions; you can’t interact with these young aggressive minds and possibly fail to learn something new. In fact my perspective about the so called millennials drastically shifted ever since I launched my career in mentorship and coaching.
I must say that gross generalization has led to an unfair labeling of the millennials. In fact, some folks of the older generation in society prefer to watch this young people from a ‘safe distance.’ They consider them complex beings, difficult to manage and a clueless lot. Granted, they’re growing up in a different world. A lot has evolved since our time. For instance, today technology can take you around the globe with a single click of a button. Computers have penetrated our homes in a manner never imagined; they are small, light, and portable. I’m talking about your smartphone.
Of course this tech revolution has brought its own share of good and bad. But that’s a conversation for another day.
Back to mentorship.
My style of mentorship is based on a one to one approach. It has proven to be very effective. It’s obvious that Individuals are different in all respects; therefore the best bet for yielding desired results is always personalized mentorship.
Most of the young people I mentor are in the category of young entrepreneurs. I’m always amazed by the huge deposits of unexploited potential that resides within these young men and women. Mine is to groom them by helping them unravel the diamonds in their backyards.
But today I’ll share general mentorship tips applicable to mentors across board. We will get to specifics in my subsequent posts. They are as follows;
Teach Process, Not Product
This is important and should be amplified and emphasized through and through. And this is why. Today the society has glorified rich individuals with very questionable backgrounds. It’s hard to tell how these men and women made their money. But if you dig deeper into their ‘success’ stories, you’ll pick gross inconsistencies in their journey to riches. The end product in this case is the money, but what about the process? Sadly, the society is continually ignoring process and hyping product. These young people need to be treated to a step by step process of achieving success in life. Of course the process is ugly; it has a series of failures written all over it, it has moments of giving up, it has loss. But it must be told that way.
Live Your Words Through Actions
This simply means, preaching water and drinking it. Mentor-mentee relationship in whichever aspect of life ought to have its basis anchored on the principle of learning by observation. For you parents I’m sure you understand this well. Your child will do what you do, not what you say. It’s unfortunate that a fair majority of those in the older generation have failed to live up to this principle. “These children of nowadays” is a popular expression of lament used by the older folks to castigate millennials. But that begs the question; who is raising this children if not the older generation itself?
Be Your Real Self
It’ll be outrageous to think that mentors are flawless human beings. Even though you will meet some who act so. Genuine mentors are not actors; they don’t get in and out of character. As such, mentors should allow themselves to be vulnerable with their mentees. Some may contest this, but I believe this can be done with wisdom. You are human, you’ll get angry, and you’ll make mistakes. Allow the mentee to learn from both your stars and scars.
All the best!