Mentoring, in any capacity, is a humbling experience. Especially if your one to provide individual attention to every person you interact with. Despite work environments hindering this process on some levels, I think it's important to remember how valuable the little bits of information we pass onto others can be.
A concentrated effort towards mentoring forces us to communicate outside of our own frame of reference, subsequently learning something new ourselves. We're painting the same picture with a different brush and another pallet. Verbalizing one's own thoughts and beliefs, hearing ourselves express an idea or thought can be a profound experience. And learning to communicate it in an entirely new context breeds innovation on those ideas. Then to hear someone reiterate those ideas and reinterpret them–I smile.
· Coaching assumes the coach has all the answers.
· Consulting is being talked at, not with.
· Management does not allow for deviation in routine or ritual and is generally pragmatic.
· Mentoring allows for exploration with trial and error. Guide without pontificating. And in most cases it is a reciprocating process. We're all intelligent beings and quite capable learning just about anything given the proper time.
In retrospect, I've been fortunate enough to have been surrounded by some inspirational and frankly, very patient mentors. Just a few observations.