The gathering started off with a calming melody and the opportunity to relax our eyes and minds. Then, with her even more calming voice, Seray took us through a stimulating hour of sharing about our mentoring experiences.
As Pablo Picasso once said: “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” In the mentor-mentee relationship, most of the time mentors share their experiences and help mentees find their gift. When the mentee asks, “Am I moving along the right path? Is this the right puzzle for me to solve?” the mentor takes action as the puzzle whisperer. Being at a higher level of the fractal journey that we call life, mentors can foresee what might be ahead for the mentee and ask the right questions. This guidance helps the mentee navigate puzzles at her own pace and gives her the warm feeling that she is not alone.
Seray Nasırlı is the Career Development Counselor and Coach at Koç University. She is an advisory board member of our MentorWIN program. We were thrilled to have her lead this MentorWIN Refresher.
Seray shared some tips for mentors:
- The mentor should never force the mentee to do anything. She should be there for the mentee to listen, encourage, support, and guide her.
- Judging, interrupting, breaking confidentiality, and making decisions for the mentee are mistakes that the mentors should avoid at any cost.
- Understanding and accepting the needs of the mentee is crucial for the mentor. For example, if the mentee prefers to communicate through messaging instead of calling, then the mentor should respect her choice.
Here are some guidelines for the mentees:
- The responsibility to get in touch, starting to schedule the first meeting, is the mentee’s duty. Follow up, follow up, follow up!
- The mentee should never hesitate to ask questions and share what she needs from the mentor.
- The communication should be open and honest where the mentee is eager to listen, watch, learn and grow.
- Both the mentor and the mentee should be 100% present for each other.
- The biggest mistake the mentee might be tempted to do is to hand over the wheel of her life to the mentor. Mentees, don’t forget that your mentors cannot tell you what to do! They can only share their own experiences with you. The rest is up to you and you only.
Seray added something we hear over and over: the mentor-mentee relationship is a two-sided learning experience. The people that pass through our lives and the experiences we have, change our lives without us even realizing their effects. Role models spread the seeds of our future selves. Mentors carefully water and cherish our sapling goals to fruit bearing trees.
We thank Seray Nasırlı for her curation and hosting a warm sharing circle. Ferko Signature Assembly, our host and home, thank you for your generosity.