What is the Role of a Mentor?

I’ve been working my way through Sir Ken Robinson‘s the Element and this evening stumbled into a brief, interesting discussion of mentorship. It seemed worth sharing. Sir Ken believes that “mentors tend to serve some or all of four roles for us [mentees]”:

  1. RECOGNITION of the subtleties and nuances that set us apart
  2. ENCOURAGEMENT – “mentors lead us to believe that we can achieve something that seemed improbable or impossible”
  3. FACILITATING – mentors can help lead us forward,”offering advice and techniques, paving the way … and even allowing us to falter … while standing by to help”
  4. STRETCHING – “effective mentors push us past what we see as our limits”

It’s an interesting framework to keep in mind as all those crazy mentors out there work on improving our skills as mentors.

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