#6 SET TIME LIMITS
I am a loyal person and take commitment very seriously. When I lived in San Diego I kept this quote by Chuck Swindoll on my frig: “Integrity is keeping your commitment even when the circumstances surrounding the commitment have changed.” Being committed is good. Loyaltiy is good. But with every great strength there is usually a weakness. My weakness was never setting a time limit on mentoring. I had a group of women in SD that I mentored for 8 years. Kind of long, huh? You’re probably wondering what I did with them for 8 years! I do want to say that we started as an evangelistic Bible study. The years did seem to fly by. I do recall that I gave them an opportunity every quarter to not be in the discipleship group. But they all stayed unless they moved out of the area. The point I want to make is that if you are anything like me it is so tempting to go into a mentoring relationship open ended. I don’t do this anymore because…
1. If it does not work out for whatever reason you can back out without losing face. This helps you to keep a good relationship.
2. The mentoree will not become overly dependent one person for growth.
3. It enables you to avoid hurt feelings when the mentoring comes to an end.
4. It motivates the mentoree to put a lot into the mentoring knowing it is temporary.
Maybe you know of some other reasons. We would love to hear your experience with this.
Just like in a marriage it is good from time to time to evaluate how the relationship is going. It is always better to be proactive vs. reactive. It is easier to fix something on the front end. Review the whole process and look to see where progress has been made, where there are problems, and what should be done (if anything) to improve the mentoring.
Do you evaluate? What questions do you use for review?