Articles

Advice for Professionals Seeking Mentors

by Rik Nemanick, Ph.D. I have been working in leadership development consulting for close to nineteen years. I spent years in graduate school earning degrees in organizational psychology so I could be a skilled professional. However, one of the lessons I learned not long after graduation was the same lesson countless accountants, lawyers, engineers, scientists, physicians, and others have learned: school doesn’t teach you what you need to know to be a professional. My graduate education gave me a lot of skills and knowledge that I use regularly in my consulting. But, very little time was devoted to being a psychologist working in...
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The Mentors Way Rule #7: Fill the Toolkit

by Rik Nemanick, Ph.D. This post is the seventh in the series The Mentor’s Way, a set of guides for mentors who want to bring out the best in others. Up until now, many of the Rules of Mentoring have focused on building the relationship between the mentor and protégé and giving direction to the mentoring process. Mentors who have been following these rules have built trusting partnerships where they are able to both show empathy for a protégé and create accountability for progress. As you will see, these mentors are just getting started. In fact, it is by widening the mentoring...
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Hands, Head, and Heart

by Rik Nemanick, Ph.D. This post describes core concept for The Mentor’s Way Rule #4: Good Questions Beat Good Advice and Rule #5: Balance Empathy and Action. As trust grows between a mentor and a protégé, the types of issues that the protégé wants to discuss will change. At the beginning, when they are just getting to know each other, the issues will often be less complex. As trust grows, the types of issues the protégé will want to discuss will be more complex, sometimes having an emotional component to them. This change in the type of issues is a positive sign that trust...
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Reverse Mentoring

by Rik Nemanick, Ph.D. January is National Mentoring Month. It is a great time for you to reflect on what roles mentors have played in your career and your life as well as think about how you can “pay it forward” and share mentoring with someone else. Mentoring is typically thought of as a one-way process, which primarily benefits the protégé. However, mentors often benefit from their partnerships, with many mentors learning from a protégé’s experience and perspective. If you are serving as a mentor right now, reflect on what you have learned from your protégé and recognize the “reverse”...
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