Why Jenn Was MAD At Me and What That Has To Do With Patrick Lencioni

Jenn is a business professional who goes to my church. She contacted me a number of months ago asking if there was any way I would mentor her. 

I responded with my usual thoughts about mentoring (Check out the mentoring blog here.) And that's exactly what she wanted. 

How fun!

Until our last session.

Jenn started out by pulling the Bridges "Traction" book out of her purse and told me she was "mad" at me and we would get to that later. We processed a work conundrum she was walking through and talked about the podcasts she had listened to since our last time together. She had asked me for book recommendations and so I had worked on a short list I thought might benefit her with descriptions of the books and whether they were secular or faith-based etc.

That's when she let me have it!

"Why is your book not on that list?", she asked in no uncertain terms.

"Your book has helped me more than almost any other I have read!"  (I mean, of course, I will mentor her if she...

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Ten Tips for Great Mentoring Relationships

As a former Bible college dean, I’ve had many young people ask for mentoring. For clarity’s sake, I learned to ask back what exactly they were looking for in a mentoring relationship.

Here’s some of the answers I received:

  • I don’t know what I’m looking for, isn’t that what you are supposed to decide?
  • Well, I just know I am supposed to have a mentor, so whatever you think is right is good by me.
  • I need someone to tell me how to grow spiritually.

While I applauded their initiative for spiritual growth and there was some value in their ideology, in this paradigm the responsibility for their development was all placed on me. I felt I was supposed to design a pathway for their spiritual growth. They wanted me to discern what their next steps would be. And in some cases, there was a hope that I would use my influence to connect them with a ministry position. Their perspective was one where I would be the leader, the teacher, and the guide and they...

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