Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A good Mentor shouldn't Juge

I would like to share my feelings through this small story without remorse because I think that I have learnt something out of it.
I wonder how many people can define precisely who is a mentor or give the real meaning of mentoring without getting confused with other concepts such as coaching and counseling. For my concern, it is not my first time to hear about this word but I should confess that I didn’t take time to try and understand what this concept is about before attending the workshop.
Last Saturday workshop on the topic ‘mentoring’ organized by the Wits Alumni and Wow 2007 was attended by entrepreneurs, professionals, academics and newly Wits’ graduated. Sitting randomly at tables, we all had to intervene in the discussion.
Among questions, the first was to define a mentor. As I said above, I did not check the real meaning of this word and had only a broadly understanding of what it means.
In my group after brainstorming ideas, we had a person who run his own business and introduced himself as a mentor. Obviously that sounded so fantastic to me as I thought that we will have more insights on our table. Then at the time to choose two key-words defining the best mentorship, the person took the lead and opted for growth and relationship.
For my part, I couldn’t understand why this ‘mentor’ prefers the word relationship to training for example. I felt obliged to ask why relation should come in second place and I did. Strangely, instead of giving me light on the concept, the person answered that it might be a problem of language. At that point I felt so misunderstood and afflicted. I had a feeling as if I was wrong by asking that question. For my concern, that was a judgment. I was judged for what I belong too and not for what I did. I took it so bad that I was disturb during all the session. I do think that because a person does use a generic word that do not mean that he’s lacking content. I felt as if I was denied of my right to growth and right to knowledge by a person who presented himself as a 'mentor'. I have learnt by this fact that the person wasn’t a good mentor because mentoring involves support to growth, building of self-esteem and openness for relationship.

To late or too old for circumcision