We constantly ask ourselves how we could be more effective in supporting our mentees. We take part in numerous professional development activities and share best practice with fellow mentors however, I wonder how fully aware of our strengths we are, how many of us are orienting our work around our strengths and are able to identify the ones of our mentees.
Over the years of practicing mentoring and training mentors I found out that the more consistent we are in putting our strengths into play, the better we become at matching ourselves with mentees and the better results we achieve with them. So here are a few useful ways of finding out your own strengths and helping your mentees finding out theirs.
What activities give you an energetic buzz when you are doing them? These activities are very likely calling on your strengths.
When do you feel most like the “real you”? In those circumstances you are likely to use some of your strengths.
Which activities come naturally to you or do you excel at without even trying. These will most probably be your strengths.
Find out where and when you ‘naturally’ pay attention as you are more likely to focus on things that are playing to your strengths.
5. Fast learning
What are the things that you tend to pick up really quickly? Rapid learning often indicates an underlying strength.
6. Childhood memories
What do you remember doing as a child that you still do now and, most probably better? Strengths are often deeply rooted in our early lives.
Which are the activities that you do simply for the love of doing them? They are likely to be working from your strengths.
Monitor your tone of voice. When you notice a shift in passion, energy and engagement, you are probably talking about one of your strengths.
9. Words and phrases
Pay attention to the words you use. When you’re saying “I love to…” or “It’s just great when….,” the chances are that it is a strength to which you are referring to.
10. “To do” lists:
Notice the things that never make it on to your “to do” list. These things that always seem to get done often reveal an underlying strength.