#8 Communicate Expectation
Have you ever been disappointed with a mentoring relationship? Most of us have at least once.I have found that expectations are the root of the most disappointing mentoring experiences. This commandment is mainly the responsibility of the mentoree. The basic rule here is before you say yes you must communicate to the mentor what you are looking to gain. No one is a mind reader and yet we often assume that a person understands what we are seeking. Lack of expectations being met does not have to be the source of dissatisfaction in mentoring.
#9 Have Fun
Because I naturally have an intense personality having fun was a difficult commandment for me to learn. I learned about this commandment from my supervisor when I was on staff with The Navigators at UCSD. A very wise man, Fred Wevodau said to me…DuAnne, what they will remember the most are not the Bible studies or the Scripture they memorize. What they will remember the most is the fun that you hadtogether. And the principles they learn from you in the fun times. I found this to be true. Fortunately for the students I ministered to I took his counsel to heart and made some drastic changes in what I had planned for us to do during the year. A few examples…
- Each year during spring break we took a trip to a destination that was unknown to them until we arrived. I drove late at night while at least 6 slept and when they woke we were at the Grand Canyon. They were very surprised especially since I am not the camping type.
- Once during an intense Bible study (Inside Out by Dr. Larry Crab) I asked them if they had a free 2-3 hours to do anything they wanted what would they do? After each of them shared I then said “okay go do that and then we will meet back here at 8PM.
- I had each woman in my Bible study fill out a “wish list” about things they loved doing and wished they had more time to do. Most of the lists were simple things and they all varied. Occasionally during a one-on-one time instead of prayer of Bible study we would spontaneously go do something on the list. One mentor was pleasantly surprised when instead of doing the lesson we had planned I took her to ride a roller coaster.
These are just a few ideas that came to mind. The point is to make it fun. I learned that “hang time” is not wasted time, it’s valuable to grow deeper, healthy and committed relationships that will pay off over the long run. It also offers us an opportunity to understand each other better.
What are you doing fun with the person you are investing in? What are you doing fun with your leadership team? What are you doing fun with your children, the most important mentorees in your life?