Because I’m big on focus as the key to your success, here are some thoughts on the subject.
Your focus needs to be clear + simple. What you are aiming for should be obvious to you. Ambiguity has no place in your vision of success.
Your focus needs to be memorable. Your mind should be stimulated by the smallest of coincidences, even if you are not thinking about your goals at the time.
Your focus needs to be powerful and power comes from clarity. The clearer you are about what you want, the more personal power you develop and the more aligned you are. The more aligned you are the less likely you are to lose sign of your goal.
Your focus needs a compass with positive and negative polarities to help keep moving toward your goal(s).
Your focus needs some short term way-points. These can help confirm the viability of your plan and vision.
Understand the consequences and the impact of the short-term focus and take these into account as you make + modify your long term decisions.
I’ve been blogging since 2008 – usually once a week. My Google analytics suggest that I have a small, loyal, unsolicited following. There is no direct or obvious ROI in this blog.
Q: so what’s the point if my blog is more like a diary than a published work?
A: practice, not popularity, makes the master.
On one of my walking routes I encounter an old Chinese woman who does her Tai Chi routine alone and in silence every morning. No one greets her, or interrupts her to tell her how well she’s doing. I doubt that she’d hear them or care.
She’s a study of meditation in motion. Incredibly graceful, focused + precise. A master immersed in the moment.
I confuse many I work with by appearing to have an answer for everything. My guess is that if they stick with it for 35 more years they’ll know more and have even better solutions than I have now.
Blogging is one of the mental exercises I use to hone my communication skills.
It forces me to think clearly + succinctly. And that affects everything else I do.
And just by watching, others will become inspired to write, do Tai Chi, or follow their heart down a new, unknown path.
Keep it Confidential. Clarify the level of confidentiality. You both need to make it clear when something you share should be treated as confidential and never, ever violate this trust.
Determine the Timeframe. Determine the length of your relationship and by all means avoid open-ended mentorship’s. That way both of you can back out without losing face if the mentoring relationship does not meet your expectations. On the other hand, if it goes well you can continue the relationship and set up a new evaluation point.
Measure Progress. Evaluate the relationship from time to time. Inspecting progress from time to time allows you to reinforce predetermined expectations and agreed upon standards of performance.
Encourage Feedback. Although difficult to hear at times, feedback is critical to growth and development. Demonstrate that you are open to hear ideas and suggestions to bring out areas that you may not have discussed at the beginning of your relationship. They may want you to keep on a eye on certain blind spots that were initially overlooked.
Say Goodbye. A happy ending for a mentoring experience involves closure, in which both parties evaluate, recognize how and where empowerment has occurred, and mutually end the mentoring relationship. What frequently happens in successfully closed mentoring is an ongoing friendship that allows for occasional mentoring and future interweaving of lives as needed.
Set High Expectations. Expectations should be expressed, negotiated, and agreed upon at the beginning of a mentoring relationship. Sometimes mentoring proves disappointing. This disappointment can frequently be traced back to differing visions expectations.
Know the Purpose. Jointly agree on the purpose of the relationship. When you each know what you want and why you want it, you have the basis for building a wonderful relationship.
Stick to The Schedule. All good things come to those who meet consistently. Determine the regularity of interaction and stick to it.
Mutual responsibility is an important mentoring dynamic that doesn’t just happen – you need to plan for it. Agree together on how you will establish and monitor mentoring tasks. The heart of empowerment lies not only in what the mentor shares but also in the tasks the mentor gives to the protégé. You must complete the tasks in order to benefit. Accountability is the prod to make sure this happens, because change rarely takes place without it. It can occur many ways: phone calls, probing questions during meetings, or a planned evaluation time.
Develop Communication Mechanisms. If the mentor sees or learns of an area of need or concern for you - and it may be negative - how and when do you want your mentor to communicate it to you? Determine this important communication mechanism is advance so that it causes no undue harm or ill feeling later on.