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 mentroing 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 typcial to start off with great gusto in what's commonly known as the "honeymoon" phase. At this piont, 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 my handdrawn 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?
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