I met my Mentee for the first time the other night. Funnily enough neither of us thought to advise each other what we were wearing as we met in a relatively busy bar, however, we knew immediately when our eyes locked!
It was an easy conversation to slip into and two and half hours later I realised I was very late for my next appointment! Solving every matter with solutions wasn't on our agenda, it was a 'meet & greet' routine requirement which occurred and we continued into the next stage of the relationship.
The problem we encountered was that my Mentee was eager, I was engaged and so was my memory! With hindsight, experience and continued practise, Mentoring enables the brain to locate amazing stories which were once lost. I'm not sure if that is a problem!
We sidetracked into dream roles, aspirations, passions and goals which really helped build the context of my Mentee's whole life. We parked that exciting information and then returned to the current dilemmas facing this leader. And all I can say is (in my head) "yep, heard it before and hear it every day".
There's not much new which can happen in a human's life - behaviours are repetitive and consistent. It's easy to divide the population into 'types' and it's a numbers game. In most groups you'll have Type A, B, C and so on. In other words, nothing surprises me!
What does surprise me is how past experiences encapsulated in stories overlaid onto current situations add great meaning and clearer decision making for your Mentee.
It's important to share situations where you failed & succeeded - it's got to be real. (Sometimes our memory is shady and we paint more colour which isn't necessary.)
A Mentee and Mentor relationship is a two way street - it's a conversation which both contribute to, add questions into the mix and both off solutions. It's quite different to coaching but a gorgeous mix iF you can do both.
If you're searching for a Mentor, drop me a line. All good leaders will say they had many Mentors!