Are You the Mentor You Want to Be?

In the Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry, I often heard Mentors complain about their Mentees but sometimes the Mentor may actually be the problem.

I thought it would be great to start out the New Year sharing an article by Stephanie Shott on The Mom Initiative (TMI) Website. To learn more about TMI go to www.themominitiative.com,

5 Types of Mentors That Drive Mentees Crazy & 2 MORE GIVEAWAYS & SIGN UP to LEAD A M.O.M. INITIATIVE MENTOR GROUP By Stephanie Shott

Let’s face it, not all mentor/mentee relationships were made in heaven. Some can be tough. At times personalities don’t gel. That’s human nature and a wise mentor will see that she’s not the girl for the job and gently remove herself while trying to replace herself at the same time.
There’s something beautiful about a mentor/mentee relationship that works, but that doesn’t always happen.
It’s like a ship that sets sail with two people on it. Sometimes they enjoy the ride, other times they’re ready to throw each other overboard. :-)
At times, the mentee is to blame. Other times, it’s the mentor who is responsible for mucking up the mentor waters and making a mentee want to throw her overboard. And then there are times when it’s just not working for either of them and it’s really no one’s fault.
Today, we’re going to share a few ways in which a mentor can blow it with a mentee:

images-41. SMARTY-PANTS BULLY ~ The Mentor Momma who KNOWS EVERYTHING and for some reasons, she always seems ANGRY ~

If you’ve ever been around someone who thinks she has all the answers and comes across like she’s ready to bite your head off, you know exactly what I’m talking about. She’s intimidating… daunting. She makes you feel like you can never do anything right and you certainly don’t want to ask Mrs. Know-It-All any questions.
Every time she leaves, you wonder why in the world she would ever mentor a mother and you hope she decides you’re wasting her time so she won’t come back.
You’d tell her you don’t want her to come back yourself, but the thought of doing that scares the bajeebers out of you.
Like the bully in grade school, she thinks she knows everything and always acts like she’s mad at you.

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2. NOSY NELLIE ~ The Mentor Momma who seems to think she has to have her nose in your business in order to be a good mentor.

We’ve all known someone who thought her job was to mind your business instead of her own. The one who asks probing and personal questions that catch you off guard leave you feeling very uncomfortable.
She makes you wonder if what you tell her will be held in confidence because she spends most of your time together talking about other people.
You begin to avoid spending time with her because she’s so stinkin’ nosy. Finally, you find yourself leaving the house before she gets there to run an ‘emergency’ errand so you can miss your scheduled time with her.
Like the nosy high school friend you avoided, Nosy Nellie has a knack for running people off and then wonders why no one wants to spend any time with her.

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3. LOUSY LISTENER ~ The Mentor Momma who is there to tell you about all her troubles and leaves you wondering if she will ever be quiet.

We all know it’s not easy to be around someone who is so busy talking about themselves that they never stop long enough to listen. They’re relentless and they drive you crazy! All you can think of is, “Could someone PLEASE stop her!”
She really doesn’t have any interest in mentoring you. She is there to talk. And talk. And talk.
You start fidgeting in your chair and waiting for the second she stops long enough to catch her breath so you can tell her that you need to go to the grocery store, or take the dog to the vet, or get to your doctor’s appointment…something, anything to get away from the non-stop rambling.
You thought she was there to mentor you, but she’s a lousy listener who would rather talk your ear off than take time to listen to the one she should be ministering to.

images-34. DOUBLE TROUBLE ~ The Mentor Momma who thinks she needs to bring in reinforcements and gang up on you to get her point across.

You know her. She’s the one who can’t be just ONE. She seems to have the need to bring someone else into your very personal conversation and makes you feel like you’re being battered by both of them.
She told you everything would be confidential and then she shows up with someone else to tell you twice what she has already told you once.
She’s like the girl in high school who always had to have other girls around to validate her. When you see her coming, you know it’s really double trouble because someone else will be with her to mimic what she says. So you try to avoid her like the plague.

images-15. EXCUSE MAKING MOMMA ~ The Mentor Momma who has an excuse for everything. She tends to run late, isn’t prepared, doesn’t have her act together and constantly makes excuses for herself.

We all have friends like this. They leave you waiting at Starbucks for 30 minutes and when they get there, they give you the same excuse as they gave you last week.
They told you to read through chapters 1 through 5 of Overwhelmed and you did. But when she arrives she lays out a list of excuses as to why she couldn’t come prepared.
She doesn’t have any problems making plans. She just can’t seem to keep them. Maybe it’s because she doesn’t remember the plans she makes.
It’s always someone else’s fault that she struggles with being unorganized. It’s always someone else’s fault that she lost her keys or loses her temper.
She’s like your little brother who loved to play the blame game and point his fingers at you. She’s an excuse making momma and she simply wears you out with her excuses.
So, there you have it. Five types of mentors that drive mentees crazy.
The mentor/mentee relationship is really such a beautiful thing. It is meant to strengthen both the mentor and the mentee. It’s a pouring out and a drinking in. Two women doing life together. Maybe not forever. Perhaps just for a season. 
But it’s a journey the two take together. Laughing together, crying together, praying together and doing life together.
That, sweet sister, is what mentoring is all about.
And when it works, there’s nothing like it.
And when it doesn’t, it’s not time to give up on the wonders of a Titus 2 relationship. It’s just time to find a new Titus 2 mentor or time for the Titus 2 mentor to be a woman whose footprints are worth following.
Do you have any mentoring horror stories? Would you be a mentor that would fall in any of the 5 categories above? How can you make sure you’re leaving footprints worth following?

 

Comments

  1. I believe mntoers should be willing to discuss politics with their mentees, and that such conversations can have positive effects. A mentor should of course be careful to honor and respect that the parents or guardians of mentees may have political views which differ from their own, but this need not prevent productive and powerful discussions. Discussions between mntoers and mentees can contribute to the cultivation of children as educated citizens, and as Jefferson said, An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people. For instance, mntoers can help young people understand how people with different perspectives take different positions on important issues. Very young children can both identify with and understand at a fundamental level similarities between debates that presidential candidates have and disagreements they themselves might have on the playground. In work with young people investigating disputed historical events in the course of developing short historical documentaries and web pages, my colleagues and I have found that middle school and high school students can understand that different people can reach honest disagreements about what the “true story” is. This is an important prerequisite to understanding how different world views and “selecting preferred facts” leads to the kind of “spin” we see every day in U. S. politics. We want to educate future voters to be critical consumers of spin, and participate thoughtfully and respectfully in debates about politics themselves. Students who have the experience of participating in civil and respectful debates according to their own ideas lay the groundwork for participating more productively in our democracy than many adults today. Therefore, I encourage mntoers to model civil discourse about politics in discussions with your mentees. And if you have any branches of initiatives like Kids Voting USA in your area, consider encouraging your mentees to check them out.

    • Janet Thompson says:

      You bring up some very good points. The mentor should never try to influence the mentee to agree with her politically, but her role is to help the mentee arrive at her own conclusions and see the “debate” through God’s lens. And I fully agree that children should be taught critical thinking at an early age and again learn how to make decisions based on God’s perspective and not the world’s influence. Thank you for bringing up this important point.

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