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David Mills
By David Mills on September 28, 2015

Mentoring: Pass It On.


Mentorship is about lending your story to help write a new one. Whether it's the smooth on-boarding of a millennial, or the strengthening of your overall employee base, mentorship fosters powerful stories. Organizations are given incredible depth as a result of mentoring.



For many companies, mentoring creates fresh depth and vitality in the lives of those involved, and within the company itself. With employee engagement at an all-time low  (69% of employees reporting issues with engagement), the mentorship process can help move employees from complacency to brand advocacy. The skills that mentors practice have a definite benefit within the workplace. And, the rich stories that mentors foster in the lives of mentees---inside or outside the organization---create greater value for both employees and customers.

Mentoring impacts both sides of the equation.

Mentoring is a two-sided relationship. As the circle of relationships becomes static, it is far too easy for employees to become complacent within an organization. Closed sets in the workplace create resistance to new employee engagement and reduce the depth of dialog about the work itself. This reduces creativity and employee engagement. Mentorship helps to break open new lines of communication. Mentors are put in a position to reflect on their own experience and describe the work and challenges they face. While the mentee benefits from the experiences, insights, and networks of connections that a mentor offers, the relationship can be truly transformational for the mentor, too.

Mentoring gives depth to organizational stories.

One of the powerful benefits of engaging in mentorship is the way that it impacts your organizational story. Great organizational stories always have depth, and the mentorship process brings insight into your own story. As you help someone else learn something new, you're revisiting the foundations of the business. Mentoring is about more than skills development or short term execution. Mentorship is forward-looking. It helps people to take new steps, become more confident, and be better able to manage their life and goals.

Mentoring moves people into a new story reality. They are reflecting and sharing stories every time they mentor. <

Mentoring increases our ability for dialog and social intelligence.

If there is one skill that companies need today, it is a fresh capacity for interpersonal communication. New media, including social networking, is less about pushing out information and mostly about engaging others in dialog. A mentoring company is a company that is building skills for listening and responding. It is helping equip its workforce for the demands of a networked, media-based consumer world.

The listening skills that mentors employ have a significant impact on their own social intelligence. The five primary components of social intelligence, as defined by Psychology Today, are the very things that mentors practice and pass on.

1. Conversational skills. The ability to comfortably and effectively network and negotiate social settings.

2. Knowledge of roles and norms. Understanding and functioning within the norms and roles of new settings.

3. Effective listening. Great listening creates great connections between people, and the feeling of being appreciated and respected.

4. Understanding others. The ability to really "get" other people and to stay tuned to their responses and interests.

5. Role playing and social confidence. Confidence that allows you to shift roles based on the situation is important for social navigation in both work and social settings.

6. Impression management. Aware of the impact they are making on others, this skill creates a balance between managing the image you portray to others and being appropriately “authentic."

It is hard to imagine a supervisor who would not want to find greater social intelligence within their workforce.

Mentoring Supercharges Story within Organizations

There may be no faster way to create new vitality within an organization than a mentorship program. Mentoring supercharges the story process and gives the organization a new depth when viewed by outsiders---a depth that is substantial and real. The relational activity of mentoring places each participant in a new "shared-story context"; two people's stories are connecting in a way that brings changes to both. Mentoring is a storytelling medium that thrusts the participants around the interpersonal campfire to talk about life as it is and as they want it to become.

 Story Collaborative offers mentoring design and support for nonprofits and businesses based upon a rich history of creating sustainable mentoring programs across the United States.

Published by David Mills September 28, 2015
David Mills