The phone call lasted 5 minutes…
The time, the issue, was focused. He talked. I listened. The issue was strategic. He talked. I asked two questions. He went into his day.
Just before bedtime that day, checking my messages, there was a several paragraph text from him being thankful for the mentoring time we had spent as that day began. The call was intentional. My listening was intentional. His responses were intentional. My questions were intentional. A different focus on a critical issue was formed…explored and discovered, by him…intentionally.
There is no magic to the time frame of the best of mentoring. But…rarely are critical issues of life taken care of this quickly. The rapid progress of that day was the result of over seven years in a mentoring friendship where being intentional has been the first step in life-changing mentoring for this good man…a rising star in his vocation.
He understands, as a mentoree, that the best of mentoring is always intentional. He knows that his mentor, me, will always listen at least twice as much as I might talk. Then when talk happens, it is, intentionally, not telling him what to do or think, but asking questions to help this good man explore and discover what action, large or small, might need to take place.
His call was intentional.
My answering his call, while out on an hour walk, was intentional.
His concern for a crucial life issue was intentional.
My listening was intentional.
His pondering, out loud, was intentional.
My listening some more was intentional.
His thoughtful responses were intentional.
My two questions were intentional and focused.
His choosing a response to the issue was intentional.
Our saying goodbye was intentional.
His end of day report (which he didn’t have to do, but did…) was intentional.
His gratitude for the change in his thinking, and the good results in his attitude brought needed and welcome change to a concerned relationship at work…intentionally.
My own gratitude for the significant privilege of doing intentional, deep-change, whole-life, transformational mentoring concluded the day.
The best of mentoring, any day, any time, any person, anywhere, always begins with being intentional.