Throughout the change process, there’s also a place we can find ourselves as the “glow of the new year or honeymoon” wears off. It’s often referred to as THE DIP and I reference this in a couple of my books. We’ve also just covered this topic in the 60 Day Coaching Business Builder Accelerator program, a course I launched on January 1st. Part on demand, part live, it’s been interesting to see the momentum which gets created when we focus on taking action around our key goals and actions for an extended time. A new group will be starting up the first day of every quarter during 2020 so if you are a coach, or simply want ongoing support around some of your key goals as a business owner, leader or team member, consider joining us. More info here.
I thought it would be interesting to reach back to Teams365 #765 which focused on the topic of THE DIP, particularly as it relates to mentoring conversations, where we may be intentionally focusing on supporting someone’s development. This post will likely be of interest if you’ve found yourself abandoning new years resolutions or other things you wanted to change. Perhaps reflecting on the questions included towards the end of the post will spur you on to re-frame and refocus on your goals!
Here’s what I wrote in THE DIP:
“The first decade plus of my career was spent primarily working for Canadian and British humanitarian organizations and the United Nations. It was typical that mentoring was a key part of our team's development, as well as our own leadership development. Whether involved in passing on our skills to other staff happened formally or informally it was part of everyday work, given that you might only be in a role for six months or three years.
Today, I continue to see how mentoring is transforming organizations. In the last twelve years I've been able to support organizations in financial services, insurance, health care and safety create, and launch their own mentoring programs. It changes conversations, it changes leadership and it changes the culture!
What we often don't talk about in mentoring is the "DIP". Just as in any change process, such as cross-cultural integration when you move locations for work, or change through a coaching process, it's typical to start off with great gusto in what's commonly known as the "honeymoon" phase. At this point, mentor and protege are raring to go - they can't wait to get started and into dialogue with each other. Goals are clear as is usually the way forward.
As the meetings progress, some partnerships find an ever-evolving spiral of conversation and goal touchpoints, whereas others drop down into the “dip”. The “dip” is a place which sometimes feels like you are spinning your wheels, or not getting traction. Proteges and mentors may feel like mentoring is a waste of time.
In fact, the “dip” is natural! It's part of the change process. What you can see in today's photo is a sketch of the cycle of adaptation. It's actually from a recent conversation I had with a leader who was going to work globally and wanted to think about what to expect. I've seen the “dip” throughout my own international assignments, and I've seen it mirrored not in the hundreds, but over more than two decades of work in the intercultural sector, mirrored in the thousands.
The “dip” can, and does, happen in the mentoring process. What to do if you see it? Here are a few things to consider:
Revisit the goals of the protege?
What have they accomplished?
What do they want to aim for next?
Where might they need recharging?
What will "shake" things up a bit?
Tomorrow, we're moving on to look at five activities you might want to weave into your mentoring conversations. Some, or all of, these five could be a great addition to "shaking things up".
You might have noticed there were several other places where we can see the “dip” - in coaching, global assignments, and any change process. Where have you experienced the “dip”? What did you do?”
I hope that you will take some time to focus in on these questions and will revisit your most important goals (even if you recently put the journey towards them on hold!).
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Winter 2019 programs start this week including the Coaching Biz Growth Lab (an annual focus on coaching business development), GroupCoachingEssentials (8.75 CCEs), the Advanced Group and Team Coaching Practicum (10 CCEs) and the Virtual Facilitation Essentials program (8.5 CCEs) - geared to support you in creating more exceptional virtual conversations. Finally the Mentor Coaching Group for Winter 2020 will begin - aimed at coaches who are working towards their ACC, PCC or renewing.