«Questions are cerebral hounds.» The role of the mentor and its 7 dimensions

In accordance with the stages of development in life, when we reach the age of 40 we experience the need to transcend. We usually do this through children or as a teacher through students, or through mentoring.

Mentoring is a process that involves several steps, which follow a parallelism with Maslow’s pyramid: 1) providing assurance to the mentee; 2) establishing connection; 3) making the mentee feel appreciated; 4) ensuring he or she is creative, independent and proactive.

The mentor’s role has 7 dimensions, for which the mentor must be trained in new skills and abilities.

1_ Accompaniment: listening and asking short, open questions so that the mentee speaks a lot and opens up.

2_ Investigating: asking questions to activate the mentee’s attention and awareness. Questions are cerebral hounds.

3_ Exploring options: the mentee is encouraged to talk to other people who can provide new outlooks and encourage divergent thinking.

4_ Informing and advising: conveying knowledge and experiences, which are connected to the mentee, and asking what he or she thinks or how he or she would apply them.

5_ Driving: encouraging action focused on the objective of the mentoring process. Reinforce the self-efficacy of the mentee, so he or she feels the objective is achievable, through analysis of successful past experiences.

6_ Connecting: introducing mentees to people who may be of interest and helping him or her to create a support network.

7_ Behaviour model: most knowledge is acquired unconsciously. The mentor should be an optimal model of behaviour for the mentee, who should also be introduced to other optimal models.