The inner mentor: Mentoring creates space for mutual reflection
By: Amalie Lindqvist Nielsen, January 13, 2021
A mentorship is, according to Charlotte Nørgaard, Executive Business Mentor and Deputy Leader Specialcenter Roskilde, something everybody, who gets the opportunity, should experience. Talking sincerely with another human being allows for personal reflection and having a mentor is an advantage, regardless of whether you want to talk about your daily life, or you want clarification about a major career decision. The strength of a mentor-/mentee relationship lies in the fact that you are matched based on what it is you want to achieve with a mentor.
Charlotte’s motivation to become a mentor started during her job as a leader, when she saw some talents and got an urge to help push them forward. Over time, she has become aware that there are many ways to be a mentor, and that a mentor can help with many different types of challenges. Her training as an Executive Business Mentor through KMP+ House of Mentoring has contributed to her approach to mentoring because it gave her some structured tools and a more nuanced approach to mentoring.
“It has been exciting to use the approach of KMP+ House of Mentoring and the 10 situational mentor roles. I don’t get stuck in the same role and do what I usually do. The roles force me to approach my mentee in a more nuanced way than if I did not have that framework”, says Charlotte.
According to Charlotte, the experience of having a mentee from a different type of organisation than her own has been nothing but positive. As a mentor Charlotte experiences that there is always a reflection in relation to her own role as a leader, and having an external mentee makes you more aware of your own patterns as a leader, as well as the patterns that are in one’s own organisation.
“Having a mentee from a different organisation is a big advantage. It makes you more sharp and attentive to the fact that all the patterns that we think are so special for our own world are actually very similar. Mentee comes from a completely different sector than me and the striking thing is that even though one could imagine that we had very different dilemmas, they are very much alike”, says Charlotte.
According to Charlotte, it is therefore not only the mentee who becomes wiser during a mentoring relationship, as she experiences that as a mentor you get a constant reflection in relation to your own personal life and work life.
Creating a safe and supportive relationship between mentor and mentee is vital to any kind of mentoring relationship and according to Charlotte the most important quality as a mentor is to make this happen and show a sincere interest in the mentee. You must pay attention and listen to the needs of mentee and make the time to get to know mentee so the safe and trusting relationship can emerge. The tool “the lifeline” has, according to Charlotte, been a nice way of getting to know mentee and build trust in the relationship. To help your mentee in the best possible way it is important to know everything about mentee’s life situation because the challenge or dilemma that mentee wants help with can be caused by something in their life and is not necessarily work-related.
According to Charlotte, an important criterion for a successful mentoring relationship is that you as a mentor also give something of yourself in the relationship and can use yourself as much as possible. In this way the relationship between mentor and mentee becomes equal, and the mentor gets the opportunity to reflect many things back on his or her own life. Mentor’s Many Roles are a useful tool in this sense as it reminds the mentor of the many different aspects and roles a mentor can have.