I do very little mentoring. The kind I do takes it out of me. I spend a lot of time unwinding from it.
I’m told I’m a very helpful mentoring and that my help isn’t always seen as such in the short term but unfolds over a longer period.
Of course, CATS3000 mentoring gets quickly into the zones of discomfort, is big on calling things by their real name, and tries to rattle the bars of the freedom cage so you can get consciously into your own motives and to make free decisions about what to do next. Freedom is always specfic, contingent and requires you sometimes to make your own thinking an object of your own observation. Which I find very tiring, and not always successful. But I am told, over the long run, my mentoring is of practical benefit.
I’ve mentored the head of a county’s tourist authority, I’ve mentored the director of a city council, I’ve mentored senior managers and directors in the insurance industry, of a national library, of a manufacturing company. I’ve mentored a lecturer, and also the owners of a few small businesses. I’ve mentored and have my own mentors who mentor me.
My mentoring is done in my own style. It’s very direct; it is no-nonsense, it’s born of a warmth of motive but doesn’t shy away from truth-sharing; it’s based on a lot of reflection and learning from past experience, then putting that experience to good use. It’s mentoring that looks at the next few minutes, days and even decades in equal measure.
It’s based on pro- and re-action. It’s involving, wisdom-based and often humorous. It’s emergent and convergent – we open up and close down to action.
Usually a lot of nice hot drinks, juices and cakes are involved; though I do embrace fresh fruit. It’s about unfolding life stories as well as nitty gritty personal and work challenges.
I mentor when I feel I can help and also learn something new for myself.
I charge on a rate per session. It can be based on anything from free to £thousands. I usually charge you what I think you need to pay. And I don’t do it very often, as I said.
Mentoring is about helping; but not only on the surface. It’s also about helping that only realises itself as help over time. Mentoring is about service – authentic service. Not all challenges in life are helpful to be framed as problems. Sometimes we frame problems. Sometimes we just live with emerging questions, and sometimes we just deal with the unfolding story and the possibly narrative paths.
Everyone’s life is a story, but every life is also a life – the business of trying to be content, to be satisfied, to feel we make a contribution to who and what we care about. We get stuck, we get blocked, we get haunted, even possessed. We get fearful and we can even get harmful. Mentoring is loaded with certain values – to be happier, to not be harmful and to feel life is fruitful and worth something. I don’t mentor time-wasters, manipulators, vampires or evil-doers.
I do mentor revolutionaries, peace-makers, agitators and pot-stirrers, leaders, movers and shakers, and people looking for a better life, or to improve their organisation or community.
You can call me. If I can help I might.