Tag Archives: professional mentoring

Nonprofit Radio for May 30, 2022: Mentoring

 

Don Gatewood: Mentoring
Don Gatewood shares his extensive experience with professional and personal mentoring—as both mentor and mentee—so you know what to think about before you enter a mentoring relationship, and what to expect. He’s with The Initiative Baltimore.

 

Listen to the podcast

Get Nonprofit Radio insider alerts!

 

I love our sponsors!

Turn Two Communications: PR and content for nonprofits. Your story is our mission.

4D Technology: IT Infra In a Box. The Affordable Tech Solution for Nonprofits.

Apple Podcast button

 

 

 

We’re the #1 Podcast for Nonprofits, With 13,000+ Weekly Listeners

Board relations. Fundraising. Volunteer management. Prospect research. Legal compliance. Accounting. Finance. Investments. Donor relations. Public relations. Marketing. Technology. Social media.

Every nonprofit struggles with these issues. Big nonprofits hire experts. The other 95% listen to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. Trusted experts and leading thinkers join me each week to tackle the tough issues. If you have big dreams but a small budget, you have a home at Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio.
View Full Transcript

Transcript for 593_tony_martignetti_nonprofit_radio_20220530.mp3

Processed on: 2022-05-27T14:01:19.197Z
S3 bucket containing transcription results: transcript.results
Link to bucket: s3.console.aws.amazon.com/s3/buckets/transcript.results
Path to JSON: 2022…05…593_tony_martignetti_nonprofit_radio_20220530.mp3.671253970.json
Path to text: transcripts/2022/05/593_tony_martignetti_nonprofit_radio_20220530.txt

[00:02:34.44] spk_0:
mm hmm. Hello and welcome to Tony-Martignetti non profit radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d suffer the embarrassment of blepharoplasty. Jah if I saw that you missed this week’s show mentoring Don Gatewood shares his extensive experience with professional and personal mentoring as both mentor and mentee. So you know what to think about before you enter a mentoring relationship and what to expect He’s with the initiative Baltimore And Tony’s take two help for Uvalde texas. We’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c. O. And by fourth dimension technologies I. T. Infra in a box the affordable tech solution for nonprofits. tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant D Just like three D. But they go one dimension deeper. We had audio issues in the recording for this show. I cleaned it up as best I can. Um there were actually a lot of problems in the introduction. So to give Don Gatewood a proper introduction, I’m going to read it now. Don Gatewood is co founder and ceo of the initiative Baltimore. He’s a professional leadership consultant and hosts the podcast. Leadership and professional development with Don Gatewood. He’s lead large teams in program operations, strategic planning, accounting communications, compliance and fundraising for several organizations like the center for workforce inclusion. American red cross and Goodwill industries of greater Detroit and Washington D. C. The initiative Baltimore is at the initiative Baltimore dot com and Don is at Don Gatewood dot com. Here is mentoring. Don Gatewood Welcome to nonprofit radio

[00:02:36.94] spk_1:
thank you so much for having me today. I’m super excited to be here.

[00:02:51.74] spk_0:
I can tell. Thank you, Thank you for being excited. It’s a pleasure. Pleasure’s. So we’re talking all about what was your, what was your entree to mentoring? What did it start as a mentee or did you start as a mentor? How did you begin your mentoring?

[00:03:37.84] spk_1:
Absolutely, absolutely. I’ll never forget it. I was 19 years old at Wayne State University, which is where I went to college, my undergrad and I had recently pledged a fraternity alpha phi alpha fraternity incorporated and shortly after I crossed and became an alpha, I had to decide what contribution or impact that I was going to have on the chapter. After all, they weren’t having people become a member of this prestigious organization and you just sit around and do nothing. So some of my pro fights that you call them, they encouraged me to consider mentoring because there was this new initiative with the big brothers, big sisters of America. It was a new partnership that we had and I said, Wow, that sounds interesting. I’d like to mentor a young man that lives in the Detroit area. I was 19 going on 20 and I was connected with a young man named Jerome who was in middle school headed to high school and that’s where the mentorship bug started for me at the age of 19 years old.

[00:04:04.14] spk_0:
Okay, see at 19, I expected you to say at college that you had a professor or someone who was mentoring, you

[00:04:05.76] spk_1:
know,

[00:04:06.53] spk_0:
jumped in, you took the, you took the role as Mentor, 19. Okay, Alright,

[00:04:11.28] spk_1:
Right. Absolutely, but to be fair I did have some folks who mentored me in an unofficial capacity and I don’t think I had the language to know that it was mentoring in some cases because it wasn’t official, but this was the first time that I felt like I was in an official mentoring capacity where it was defined and understood. So that’s how it all started.

[00:04:46.74] spk_0:
Thank you, you just have the word to find uh since, you know, I think most, most folks have a general sense of mentoring but since you and I are talking in detail about the importance of it and the power of it, what you’re the expert, how do you define mentoring?

[00:05:19.04] spk_1:
Right. So the thing about mentoring, truthfully the term, it’s, it could look a lot of different ways. It just depends on the, the contract, whether it’s verbal or official, whether it’s professional or more social, but there is, there are regulations that are sometimes established with the mentoring in some cases it may be weekly, in other cases, it may be monthly, quarterly, so it just depends on the relationship that was established in the case of the Big brothers program though, I understood that there was an expectation that I would meet with the young person at least monthly and that I would make a commitment to reach out to them or they will reach out to me once a week via phone, email or text. So that was the general expectation. Now to be fair you don’t want mentoring to be so formulaic and so robotic that it feels unnatural for either party cause that’s not fun at all, ideally the relationship will be developed and you’ll find a groove. But in the beginning there has to be some type of parameter of expectations for both parties so that each person feels that their needs and expectations are being met.

[00:05:59.55] spk_0:
So it could even sometimes being writing

[00:06:45.84] spk_1:
absolutely absolutely in the case of like for the Big Brothers Big sisters, it could be in writing and I know for some other organizations when young folks are being mentored in a mentoring uh space right now where with initiative Baltimore, of course we meet with them on a monthly basis, but absolutely in writing it really can help both people understand expectations because see that’s the thing about mentoring someone, we have our own needs, but the mentee, they have needs as well and our job is to make sure that we meet in the middle. So all of those expectations are met because sometimes these mentoring relationships don’t go as well as both parties would hope. And so those written expectations can prevent some of those unfortunate things from happening. And boy do they happen?

[00:06:54.34] spk_0:
Okay, well, since you, since you teased the idea, what are some of the potential problems pitfalls that can arise? So we so we can avoid them.

[00:08:08.54] spk_1:
Absolutely. So depending on the reason for mentorship, there usually is a need, whether it’s a professional development need, whether it’s a young person preparing for college or whether it’s just learning how to be, you know, an effective member of society, people have needs and sometimes that need could be more time sensitive than others. So let’s say for example, I’m in a position where I’m mentoring someone who’s preparing to become a manager, that’s their goal, so I’m there to help mentor them because they’re wanting to become a manager, but yet they have a specific timeline, they’re trying to make this change happen within the next year and so that’s not a long amount of time. So in theory, you would need to be engaging with one another more frequently for both parties to get the benefit of the relationship. So if the mentee has this goal of achieving the goal in a year, but yet the mentor is only available once a quarter, then that process the whole, the information sharing and relationship building that’s supposed to happen so that the information is given and received and learn, it may not happen in a timely way and that could affect the person’s ability to achieve their goal. So that’s in a professional example of what could happen because some people really do need the mentorship, they don’t have it, they need the help, they need the guidance and they’re relying on you to provide that guidance and if you can’t be there in a reasonable timeframe it may stymie their development or their their expected outcomes and that’s not good.

[00:08:57.34] spk_0:
So that goes back to what you had said earlier about expectations, you know if this person is trying to advance their career within a year, make a make a move to management within a year and the mentor is only available four times in that year, you know that that sounds to me like a doomed relationship is not going to get what he or she needs

[00:09:02.04] spk_1:
Absolutely absolutely

[00:09:04.73] spk_0:
right.

[00:09:54.34] spk_1:
And then one other thing to consider in any mentoring relationship, there is a period of trust, so in order for the outcome to be achieved and this is the part that often time isn’t talked about as much as it maybe needs to be is that there’s a trust factor because this person who is the mentee, they may have needs from the mentor but they have to be trusting in order to be open and honest and allow themselves to be vulnerable so they can get that information and so that’s a process that can be developed with the relationship and the bonding, but if that relationship isn’t there, if there’s too much space in between, then the person may not feel comfortable, even when you do talk and so those conversations may not be as effective because the trust in the relationship building did not happen and so as a result they’re not as open. So that’s another thing to consider when we’re talking about engagement and just how that relationship building works.

[00:10:07.54] spk_0:
How do you establish that trust early on in the relationship?

[00:10:19.94] spk_1:
One of the most important things that people like to feel is they like to feel heard and so and understood and so in any mentor mentee relationship, people, they have vulnerabilities, that’s why they’re in the space where they’re asking to be mentor to begin

[00:10:31.10] spk_0:
with

[00:11:58.04] spk_1:
and and so with those vulnerabilities, there could be sensitivities where people can feel shy or maybe feel that they’re not good enough and so there could be a lot of emotional feelings around this area while you’re in their life to begin with as a mentor. So one of the best things that the mentor can do is to, you know, help them feel heard, help them feel understood even in areas where there’s a lot of work to be done, we still have to understand where we are and how we got there and appreciate that person for where they are while we’re working toward getting to a different place, but people have to feel appreciated and heard and not judged because again you’re vulnerable in the mentor capacity and then on the other side, this person who’s mentoring you, they have the skills, they’ve reached a certain level of success and so that can feel intimidating naturally, even if that’s not the intended, you know, dynamic, but sometimes when people look at you, whether you realize it or not, they may feel intimidated or they may say this person has everything that I that I want and I don’t have that and so we have to be mindful of the psychology of the person who’s receiving the mentorship because there’s a lot that could be going on, so by not feeling judged and feeling heard and understood is really helpful towards a person wanting to open up and to continue productively and healthy in a relationship

[00:12:00.98] spk_0:
alright and and building that trust,

[00:12:02.84] spk_1:
absolutely

[00:12:07.54] spk_0:
what’s in it for the mentor, um there’s gotta be benefits, there’s gotta be value for the mentor that that maybe folks don’t think about.

[00:12:17.34] spk_1:
Absolutely, I think that there are tons of opportunities for growth

[00:12:19.92] spk_0:
um for

[00:13:17.74] spk_1:
a person who is a mentor first and foremost, um each of us, None of us are at the pinnacle, I mean we all are growing and evolving essentially, some of us may be more skilled in one area or another, but ultimately we all are still growing and when you are mentoring someone, first of all you’re ensuring that this person has the tools they need to to be successful, um but you in order to achieve that you have to have effective communication skills um in in empathy skills that are not just important in a mentor mentee relationship, but also in the relationships that you have at your 9-5 or whatever professional space that you’re working. Oftentimes the mark of a good leader, a good manager isn’t just their ability to do the function of a job as an engineer, a doctor teacher. Okay, so fine, you can do the job technically you have the background and education, but if you’re in a leadership position, how you understand your team, how you’re able to effectively inspire them, motivate them to achieve the goal, which is bigger than any one person is. The organizational department goal is essential. So some of the tools that you use in the individual mentor mentee relationship are some of the exact same vital tools that you need to use for the team that’s reporting to you, who have goals and objectives to reach on a weekly and quarterly basis. And often times when you ask the person what’s one of their biggest concerns in the in the workplace is that they don’t feel heard they’re not getting the training that they need. And so these, this comes at a cost because companies suffer when organizations and leaders are not in sync with the team. So mentorship can certainly help develop those tools necessary to inspire the people who work for you. So it absolutely has a huge benefit to, to the mentee and the mentor,

[00:15:19.54] spk_0:
it’s time for a break. Turn to communications, They’ll develop your media strategy that means identifying your core messages, defining the channels and the outlets where those messages ought to be heard and then doing the legwork to approach those outlets and as they close those opportunities, crafting your message is appropriately that is a media strategy. Turn to communications turn hyphen two dot c o now, back to mentoring I would think for for for both to just satisfaction as you’re seeing the mentee grow, develop, you know, whatever whatever their objectives are, I would say that’s got to be enormously satisfying to the mentor, but then also the the as the, as the comfort of the relationship grows, I mean I could see that being satisfying to both to the mentee also, you know, I could see like personal satisfaction and fulfillment.

[00:15:23.34] spk_1:
Absolutely, and I want to say this, there’s a very big difference between being an expert in the field are good in the field and being able to explain to inspire and to teach their many experts who are really good, but that doesn’t always translate. In fact it could be a disaster when the person is trying to inspire or teach. And so I think in mentorship you learn that there may be some areas where you have to make adjustments to be effective and how your training and how you’re explaining things. So you do learn a lot about yourself your strengths and opportunities. Um, you know, if you’re being self aware of course, but absolutely you learn a lot

[00:16:16.04] spk_0:
interesting, I’m gonna put you on the spot. Can you, can you share something that you learned? You know, uh, you know what I opening for you in a, in a, in a mentoring relationship

[00:16:19.24] spk_1:
like

[00:16:19.63] spk_0:
that you learned about yourself or maybe the organization?

[00:17:30.14] spk_1:
Oh, absolutely. I mean there’s been so many, so many moments that I’ve that I’ve had in my life when I’ve mentored and I’ve learned, but let me see if one example that I’d like to share. Okay, so I once worked in a capacity where I am, I worked with people have been coming out of prison, they had been in prison for whether it’s 10 years or 17 years for whatever decisions they had made in their youth in the past and they had come out and wanted to start their lives in a different direction. And so I was in a position where I had a chance to mentor someone. who was a man who was older than me. And so of course, you know, you make assumptions sometimes when someone is older than you that they have a certain mindset and, and and that wasn’t, that wasn’t the case, that wasn’t the case at all. So I had made some assumptions and I had made some liberties in, in, in judging a situation, but in fact I got it all wrong, I misfired. I misunderstood the situation and where it was. And so what I walked away understanding was that you know, you can look at people and and make an assessment based off what you think you see and what you think you know? But sometimes what you think you see and what you think, you know isn’t true at all. So taking the time to when you communicate with people communicate in a measured way in a thoughtful way and not making assumptions based off what you think, you know was a lesson that I learned because I did make a mistake and quickly though I was able to identify it and make adjustments. But yeah, I absolutely made a mistake. I made assessments that just were not correct at all.

[00:18:05.88] spk_0:
Alright. Thanks thanks for sharing.

[00:18:07.24] spk_1:
Absolutely.

[00:18:38.44] spk_0:
What if the relationship isn’t going so well? Uh you know like both parties realize, you know there’s some frustration. Um you know do you do you take a step back? When do you or when do you say you know we need to stop. You know I need to mentor someone else and you need to find someone else to mentor? You know like what what do you what do you before you get to that point? What what if what if both parties just no it’s not, there’s just something wrong. How do you how do you fix it?

[00:18:41.29] spk_1:
Right. Well that’s a really good question.

[00:18:44.60] spk_0:
I mean like how do you try to, how do you address it at least?

[00:18:48.25] spk_1:
Right. Well, the first thing that the mentor has to remember is that you’re being called on to mentor for a specific reason. There is some need or some deficit

[00:19:00.34] spk_0:
or

[00:22:21.44] spk_1:
some area for improvement that the meant he has. So it’s important to truly understand that because if you understand that, then when you’re met with certain challenges and behaviors that are out of line with how it should go, just remember that this person doesn’t have all of the, that the skills, that’s why you’re the mentor to begin with. So that understanding that could be very humbling. Number two, I think that we should always anticipate that there will be moments where there will be difference of understanding thought and opinion and that’s the reason why I would suggest earlier on in the mentor mentee relationship, you talk about the fact that hey, you know, we’re here too. So I can share with you some of the lessons I’ve learned and maybe it can help you as you grow. But there there may be some things that I say that you don’t understand that you don’t agree with and you know when those moments happen, you know, we want to have open dialogue so we can talk about those things. So when you set that expectation in the beginning where you let them know, hey, it’s very likely that there will be moments where you and I are don’t see things exactly the same way uh those points are important points for us because through those moments will grow and you’ll get the, the lessons that I think that you, you intend to get from me. So we should address that from the beginning and not make it seem like a disagreement or difference and thought it’s such a bad thing. In fact it’s inevitable, it’s going to happen. The question is, how large will it be? Will it be smaller? Will it be larger? But I think by identifying it in the beginning that can help expectations be set? But then also when a person is there is a, there’s you’re out of sync that you don’t seem to be able to be on the same page. I think it’s important to deal with those things directly. And one way to do it is by establishing an advanced a weekly or monthly check in. So it’s already established that on a monthly basis you all are going to check in and see how are things going? What are things that’s going well, what are some of the things that could be going better? So you don’t wait until the problem arises to have these emergency meetings already, have it built into your, your program so that there is a safe space that’s understood to be the time that we’ll deal with these things. And then when you have those conversations, you’re able to say, this is what I’m noticing and this is what I’d like to see and then you can learn from their standpoint why it’s happening and if they can make those adjustments and if not why and then we can come to something maybe in the center, but it may not always work out. It may, but I would still say before, you know, walking away from the mentor mentee relationship, we do need to try to struggle to set new expectations and new boundaries because if you set expectations and then they didn’t work out, the question becomes do you keep setting those same expectations in the future or do you make adjustments to them? Sometimes we have to be willing to be flexible with because at first we maybe thought that this was gonna be the outcome, but based off of what you’re learning, you’re realizing that no, maybe the in goal is going to have to look different now. And once you’re able to accept that truth that it may look different. You’re relieving yourself of pressure and you’re leaving them with pressure because you’re not trying to hold to the same standard that you came up with that you realize now is not realistic. So we have to have some real honest conversations but some more thoughtful um internal conversations as well.

[00:22:30.64] spk_0:
I think it’s there’s great value in having that periodic check in where

[00:22:35.00] spk_1:
you said

[00:22:42.54] spk_0:
it’s a safe space, Tell me how you’re feeling about the relationship, I’ll tell you how I’m feeling, you know, so that it’s not, it doesn’t, it doesn’t break to a crisis,

[00:23:21.14] spk_1:
right? But one thing I do want to say that’s really important because I had a difficult moment once and it’s actually pretty recently And it wasn’t in a mentor relationship, but I’ll say this when there are difficult moments that are happening. It is important that we prioritize the issues or issues that were going to deal with because in some cases you may have identified five or six issues that are a problem. But you have to ask yourself, will it be effective for me to just list all of these issues and problems that I have, you may well not prioritize and identify the top two and deal with those because when you overwhelm people with all these things that you feel are going wrong, it can be hard to process. So we have to figure out what’s realistic and what you need to talk about and deal with and what are some of the things that you can maybe let go and deal with that another time.

[00:24:12.24] spk_0:
Are the mentor and the mentee equal in this relationship or or is the mentor have more of a leadership role? Uh, do you, do you you and, and, you know, I think for our listeners, you know, in small and mid sized nonprofits, they’re most likely to be doing professional mentoring mentoring someone new to nonprofits or new to administration maybe or management or new to fundraising or if not new, you know, junior to them, but conspiring to, to something greater. Um, is it, is it a relationship of equals or or it shouldn’t, it shouldn’t be

[00:25:19.94] spk_1:
right. I think that’s a wonderful question and I think absolutely it’s a relationship of equals. All parties involved in the mentor mentee relationship, they are equal. Even if it’s a dynamic where the person is much younger and the other person is much older, One is a male or female, you know, that one has a PhD, the other has a no degree. The everybody that’s in that relationship are equal in terms of, because each person has to fully show up and participate in the relationship in order for it to work. Now with that being said though, each person has a different responsibility. The mentor inherently has more information about the subject than the mentee. And so when it comes to being a subject matter expert, of course, the mentor has more information. They have more responsibility to help frame the experience and the, and to help guide the mentee when they’re on track or off track. But the minty also has to has to show up and be participatory and they have to again be feel comfortable with the relationship in order to for it to be a healthy relationship. I think that that relationship cannot be successful if both people aren’t showing up fully and the relationship cannot be successful if one person is entering it, thinking that they have more authority and in more power because absolutely not, each person has a role to play and it’s important to understand the limits of that role and not to overstep or under step it because that’s when things can just go bad.

[00:26:30.54] spk_0:
Cool. Thanks. What what are what are some ways you’ve seen folks grow and and mature and and that that could be, you know, that could be the mentor growing and maturing too. I’m not assuming it’s the mentee, but you know, sort of like getting a uh some of that really valuable outcomes. I don’t I don’t really want to make it sound quantifiable or anything like that, but but you know, more of the squishy, you know, like more than the humanity of it. What’s some of the ways you’ve seen either party or both parties, you know, develop, grow, maybe mature? You know, what, what what what what can we aspire to in a relationship like this?

[00:27:54.74] spk_1:
Absolutely. So when to answer that question, I want to think about a relationship that I have or that I’ve had with a with a mentor. Um I have a a gentleman who has served as a de facto mentor in my life. Um and we don’t talk all the time. It isn’t the monthly or it isn’t, you know, weekly conversation, I should have said it’s not weekly, but we do engage in professional and some of the other goals that I do have in my life and one of the things, the biggest benefits that I’ve gotten from that membership or that relationship is the fact that I understand that the journey that I’m on and the challenges and shortsightedness that I no doubt have, it isn’t something that’s unique to me and it isn’t something that other people have not experienced in a similar type of way, if not exactly 100% the same. And just knowing that there’s someone there that can help um honor and validate my experiences and where I am, it has been life changing, not just in that relationship with that mentor, but just in general, me knowing that as I’m on a journey, whatever that new journey or old journey might be that the travels I experienced the challenges or the successes, they aren’t something that’s new, that or impossible, but what I’m on is a journey that is pretty um pretty normal and it’s something that I I can, I can achieve on because others have done it and I think that that’s probably one of the biggest lessons is not, you know, it’s not about learning how to, you know use micro software or how to do this one particular thing that your mentor may have taught you, but it’s more so about that understanding that you know, you have an opportunity to grow, as long as you rely on the resources and the tools around you that you can use to grow and I think that mentorship it teaches that basic lesson that could be utilized well beyond that official relationship ending. It is something that I I lean on with with you know with all of my relationships

[00:28:53.84] spk_0:
so valuable to know that you’re not the only person going having this these frustrations. You’re not the first person to suffer with something or that that that context I think can be and the perspective can be very reassuring.

[00:29:11.54] spk_1:
Yeah and you’re not stupid you’re not a failure because you you you you made a mistake or there was an oversight it happens it’s just a part of the process.

[00:32:03.44] spk_0:
It’s time for a break. Fourth dimension technologies. Their I. T. Solution is I. T. Infra. In a box budget friendly holistic. You pick what you need and you leave the rest your I. T. Buffet. In other words some of the offerings in the buffet I. T. Assessment, multifactor authentication, lots of other security methods, cost analysis help desk and there is more you choose what’s right for your situation and for your budget it’s the I. T. Buffet I thi infra in a box At 4th Dimension Technologies tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Just like three D. But they go one dimension deeper It’s time for Tony Take two. The murders of 21 people in Uvalde Texas were this week if you’re a quick listener then this is still fresh and raw for you. If you listen to the time shift, it could be two weeks, 468 weeks since these killings the world and our attention have moved on. The people of Yuval Day have not, I’m not sure they ever can, it depends on what moving on would look like. They need our help. If you’d like to make a gift, a vetted place is the san Antonio area Foundation, the Foundation set up to funds. Uvalde a strong fund and Uvalde Strong survivors fund. If you’d like to contribute, it’s san Antonio area Foundation. S A F D N dot org. S A A f D N dot org. That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got a lot more time for mentoring with Don Gatewood. If we’re a potential, well we could be either one, you know, we we could be Mentees are listening and potential mentors are listening to. What should we look for If if we if we’re thinking about this relationship as a mentee, let’s take someone there. What what would they be looking for in a potential mentor? You know, before they approached somebody, what what kind of, I don’t know attributes or you know, like what are you looking for in a person?

[00:32:24.14] spk_1:
Right. So the first thing that we all have to do, number one, Congratulations for anyone who’s even thinking about finding a mentor, that is a wonderful step because it identifies that, you know that there’s an opportunity there that currently isn’t in your life. So, congratulations to thinking in that way. But after that point we have to really think about what exactly is it about my life that I think that

[00:32:30.48] spk_0:
I could

[00:33:10.14] spk_1:
use some support or some advice or some guidance in whether it’s professional, whether it’s spirituality, whether it’s, you know, a relationship with a child or a loved one or you know, a wife or husband, what exactly, you know, ceo of yourself managing your own affairs, what exactly is going on? Or are there different areas that you are looking to be mentored in simultaneously? So identifying which it does take some level of self awareness, knowing oneself, knowing oneself, strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. So once you’re able to identify that look within and maybe write it down, I believe in writing things down, people write things down because it it makes it real when you write it down or type it in the computer and once you’ve identified those things, then you can move forward, recognizing the the type of person you need to connect with because they have skills or success in those areas where you have determined to be areas where you’re wanting to grow. So I think it starts with self evaluation and understanding what it is that you are trying to grow in, what are your goals? What are your objectives? What are those areas? And that would be the first step I would suggest.

[00:34:19.74] spk_0:
Okay, and then what what, what is still you know going further than what what are you looking for in someone who or what are you asking them to to commit to? Um Well no that’s different, that’s different. You and you you talked about that you know early on and verbal versus written and the expectations but um you know in terms of maturity um you know accountability you know do they are they someone I I think I can rely on

[00:34:24.76] spk_1:
right?

[00:34:26.02] spk_0:
I’m I’m I’m really just kind of stabbing at the dark in the dark, you’re the you’re the subject matter expert,

[00:36:01.73] spk_1:
right? And so there’s a so there’s a certain level of preparation that you can make which is what I’ve suggested with you know framing the mentorship as well as asking yourself introspective questions. So there are some things you can do on the front end to the best of your ability to create an environment where the mentor mentee relationship can possibly be successful. But you gotta remember we all are just human beings and a person could have all the skills in the world on paper but that does not mean it’s going to translate into a relationship that’s gonna be fruitful for both. So there’s there’s there’s an extent to how much preparation that that you can do in in advance but in terms of you know finding a person of course you want them to be available. You want them to be in a position to to listen and to to be empathetic and you want them to have demonstrated experience in the area that that you’re looking for. But you got to remember that your mentor is just a human to who’s juggling life and has challenges and may have periods where they’re more available and less. And we can’t be so quick to dismiss someone because the mentor who you are, you sort out is imperfect or they are not able to do everything exactly as you had hoped because that’s not the way that it goes. So I think that they do have to have expectations that are grounded in real realism as well because I do think that a mentee if not careful, can put expectations on the mentor. That could be unrealistic. And those expectations can be the reason why the relationship isn’t working. It may not even have anything to do with the value of the person, but it’s just how you envision and when they’re not meeting your your vision then you see it as a failure with really what needs to be adjusted is your expectation.

[00:36:31.73] spk_0:
Yeah. I I guess what I’m getting what I was getting at is you know, something that you said earlier, you know the greatest subject matter expert in the world on something, you know, doesn’t mean that they’re the greatest mentor. No, no,

[00:36:40.16] spk_1:
no, no not not not at all. But I will say this a lot of a lot of folks they do, you know, want to be mentored by someone who has a certain name or a certain reputation in the community and I do get that, but sometimes those folks are not available or they may not be the best mentor because of the other obligations that they do

[00:37:31.03] spk_0:
have. Alright. And if you’re a mentor looking at a potential mentee, it sounds like and correct me if I’m if I’m presuming if I’m presuming wrong, but I’m thinking it would sound like you would want someone who’s done some introspective work, thought about what it is they want to get from the relationship, you know, what, how do they want to grow if if you’re if you’re a mentor looking at a potential menti sounds like you would want someone who’s done that, that that personal work.

[00:39:12.82] spk_1:
Right. Right. But at the same time remembering though that there’s a spectrum, so people show up at different phases and some need more support and some need less support. So you got to remember that depending on who you’re connected with, they may just need more support or there may be some foundational things that you presume that they should or would have, they may not have. So a mentor has to be aware that there may be some things that they will learn about the mentee along the way that maybe they did not see in the beginning of that relationship and if that occurs, how do you respond to it, the easiest thing to do would be to let it go. But I would argue that understanding that there’s a possibility that some things are gonna show up and you got to be prepared and have some space and some latitude that you’ve built into this equation so that when it happens you’re not completely thrown off and you’re really ready to throw in the towel because a mentor, it’s almost like when you think about a you know a basketball team or a tennis person or an ice skater, they have a coach and sometimes there may be a gap there something that they thought the team would be able to learn faster. Or maybe Simona had a tennis player. We thought that with this sort of coaching, she would learn this the slice sooner but she just didn’t. And so whether you do do you just let the person go because they’re moving slower than what you thought. No, maybe you look at your coaching style and trying to problem solve. So it’s problem solving is a huge um part of mentorship or coaching. You know, you can’t just let the team go and let the players because then they’re not where you thought they should be,

[00:39:33.42] spk_0:
there’s such enormous value in this. I I see you know for professional growth for personal growth for both the mentor and the mentee. No it’s just it sounds so rewarding. You know, you’re you’re motivating

[00:39:35.42] spk_1:
at it is very rewarding because here’s the thing, we all have our area of expertise, whether

[00:39:41.52] spk_0:
it’s

[00:40:18.81] spk_1:
education, whether it’s medicine, nursing and it’s not enough for you to be good or passionate about your job. You want to make sure that your field is in the hands of other people who are equally passionate, equally qualified and have the skills to do um good and good faith in their positions. And there’s no people don’t just wake up and swallow a magic pill and have these skills. I mean, some of us really need the guidance from someone. And so for the love of the this professional space or whatever space it is, whether it’s, you know, religious or whatever it is that you do, you know, it’s it’s making sure that the people have what they need to be successful because it it rewards the greater good and we ensure that quality uh is the priority when when we sold back into it. Quality, it’s about quality.

[00:40:57.51] spk_0:
That’s very inspiring. Yeah, thank you. Don. It almost should be the place where we end, but I still want to I want to I don’t want to end yet because I want to give you a chance to. Uh so, so I guess listeners like I’m gonna ask, don you know what he wants to talk about because I’ve been asking all the questions. But so then if you want the inspirational part, you have to go back and play what, what don just said the past two minutes, that’ll be like close inspirational closing. So you’re stuck with a lackluster host, I’m sorry, you know your

[00:41:04.92] spk_1:
but

[00:41:18.51] spk_0:
you know, but you said something very that was very inspirational, but I still want to give you more time. So you know, what is it, what what would you like us to know that that I haven’t asked you about yet? You know, I can’t, you’re again, you’re the expert. What what what more is there that you want us? You want us to know about mentoring?

[00:42:03.90] spk_1:
Well when I turn on the news, when I walk into work spaces and my job, when I think about previous positions that I’ve held when I see the kids walking to school because I have a school, the math of high school right across from the building that I live in and I just see so much opportunity and and so much need across the board. I mean people wake up everyday wanting to do their absolute best. I believe that the majority of us truly feel that way now some of us, I don’t think that’s what we want, but that’s what we think, but I believe that the great majority of us, we really do want to be successful and we really do want to do the best we can, but sometimes we don’t know how sometimes ego, sometimes we don’t have the blueprint or the support

[00:42:17.70] spk_0:
and

[00:42:30.90] spk_1:
so that’s where mentorship comes in and mentorship, it doesn’t have to necessarily be something that you have to do you know regularly. Um I think about my my dad, God rest his soul, he passed away, but my nephew who didn’t, his father wasn’t as involved in his life, but I remember at my dad’s funeral, he talked about the conversations that he had with my dad and it wasn’t a whole lot because they lived in different states, but those conversations were very impactful and they, they helped shape the way he thought. And so I just want you to know that you don’t have to spend seven days a week, you know, for 15 years mentoring someone, uh sometimes some of those valuable lessons and jewels that you have that you impart onto people, even if it’s not every single day they can really have an impact on people. So we should always be thinking about how we can influence someone and how we can have an impact on someone, even if we’re not in a mentorship capacity, we all still have a responsibility, mentor or not to look at people around us and say, hey I see an opportunity right here and although I don’t have a whole year to give, I have this one statement to give and this one statement could have an impact and I think that that’s a way that we all can be involved in mentoring on a small or in a larger way

[00:43:38.30] spk_0:
more inspiration, You’re amazing. Thank

[00:43:40.40] spk_1:
you. Thank

[00:43:44.50] spk_0:
you. He’s Don Gatewood, you’ll find him and his professional leadership consulting at Don gatewood dot com. Don thank you so much for sharing. Thank

[00:43:53.70] spk_1:
you so much. It’s been an honor being here today.

[00:45:09.39] spk_0:
Oh my pleasure. Thank you. Thank you. Next week. Back to 22. NTC with responding to micro aggressions. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by Turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o And by 4th dimension Technologies IT Infra in a box. The affordable tech solution for nonprofits. tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant D just like three D. But they go one dimension deeper. A creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff shows social media is by Susan Chavez. Marc Silverman is our web guy. And this music is by scott stein, thank you for that. Affirmation scotty Be with me next week for nonprofit radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95 go out and be great. Mm hmm