This a huge part of what mentoring means to me, and what it can create for people. Many of us operate at the top end of the activist spectrum, moving from meeting to meeting, ticking items off to-do lists, and rarely creating the space for ourselves – or others – to think. When looking at who we want to become as colleagues, as leaders and at home – and how we can achieve those aims – enabling time to think is so critical.
Mentoring, when done well, can create this time. I’m a fond admirer of Nancy Kline’s work and often draw on this when looking at how to establish good mentoring partnerships:
“The quality of everything we do depends on the quality of the thinking we do first”
Nancy Kline, Founder and President of Time to Think, author of Time To Think
Make this a bubble/clear and use photo of Nancy
Kline offers ten behaviours that generate the finest thinking, which have become known as The Ten Components of a Thinking Environment. These are: attention, equality, ease, appreciation, encouragement, feelings, information, diversity, incisive questions and place. Mentoring can champion, embody and develop these behaviours and practices.
Kline believes that mentoring truly develops the mentee when the role of mentor goes beyond offering advice and opening doors. The mentor must know how to generate superb, independent thinking from their mentee: ‘The quality of your attention, determines the quality of other people’s thinking.’
The time to think that mentoring creates can be the starting point for significant personal growth, advancement and development for both mentor and mentee.