Just like humans, mentoring comes in all shapes, sizes, lengths, colors and intensities. It can be as brief as an hour, or for a lifetime.
However, the best of any form or length of mentoring always has four crucial elements to it. Without the stirring up of these elements, it’s simply conversation. It may be a good conversation, but…….the best of mentoring is—
The best of mentoring is purpose-filled. The aim of mentoring moments is to help the one being mentored explore and discover the next steps of their life. Looking back is crucial. Hoping forward is crucial. Living into and through whatever is taking place in the current moment is crucial.
This is an invitation to adventure. It is a shared adventure between the mentor and the mentored. It is the forming of a living, breathing, active focus for the future. This is about the designing of a life in 8 Dimensions.
The best of mentoring is intentionally meant to be a lens, a window, into the history, the current moments and the hopes and the dreams of a valued individual who longs to be healthy and whole. This element is the initial key to exploring what will take place in a life on the grow.
The best of mentoring nurtures deep change in the life of another. How one chooses to productively live their life will be determined by their willingness to change. To grow. To become all of who they were designed to be.
This element takes intentional time. This takes commitment to gleaning from the past, no matter what has taken place. Any pain and sorrow of any kind needs to be understood and worked through, as well as any moments of goodness and glory. There needs to be an ongoing willingness to be committed to changing and growing day, after week, after month, after year, after decade.
Deep change can be both hard and encouraging, some times within the same hour. Most of the time intentional deep change takes place slowly so that the best values of change will help build a lifetime.
The best of mentoring keeps in mind the 8 Dimensions of each person. The essence definitions of those dimensions can be found on the Circle of Life page of this site.
Of course, when mentoring, or being mentored, we can’t pay attention to all the dimensions all at the same time. However, it is important within this element to understand that what is taking place in every dimension, plus and/or minus, will impact the other dimensions, nurturing them, or depleting them in some fashion.
The mentor needs to see and value themselves as a whole person. We are not asking for perfect here. But we are suggesting that the mentor needs to be an example of being willing to be in intentional, deep-change growth in all the dimensions of their own “one wild and precious life.”
Of course, there will be a variety of experiences on how to live out a whole life, no matter the age, ethnicity, gender, education, etc., of a person. And, yes, you may focus on one or two life dimensions for awhile. But the best of mentoring always keeps in mind the whole person. This element is crucial to a life well lived.
The best of mentoring ultimately, over time, will allow the one being mentored to experience visible transformation. Though our bodies will age and slow down we are not finished, done, until we breathe no more.
The willingness, hope, desire to be continually transformed will bring life to all the dimensions of our life. We die, too soon, without being committed to this crucial element of mentoring. Healthy mentors can’t help but lead the way to staying committed to transformation.
Frankly, there is no magic to mentoring. However the blending of these four elements, nurtured well, will design a life well lived. To be intentional opens the door to deep change for one’s whole life, and the transformation will be well worth celebrating.