A glowing ego

I am enjoying mentoring, or is it coaching?  No matter how many times I have been told what the difference is it never seems to stick.  Either way, I am doing it as part of the Executive Women in ICT course we have helped put on.  It is going well.  I enjoy being a mentor.  Or is it a coach?

I like meeting new people, developing a relationship with them and trying to help them with my experience.  I am trying not to tell them anything nor solve any problems but rather ask a lot of questions that challenge their assumptions and their thinking.

It is interesting yet I have the slightest of nagging in the back of my mind.  You see, I have been reading ‘What got you here won’t get you there’ by Marshall Goldsmith.  It describes twenty bad habits that leaders pick up on the way to their elevated positions and hold them back from being truly good at what they do.  Number six on the list is ‘telling the world how smart you are’.  It is a persistent urge to remind people that we are smarter than they think we are and certainly as smart as the person in front of you.  It is a competitive thing and one of the twenty that I’ve got myself down for.

I am wondering if the enjoyment I am getting is from the fact that, for an hour at least, I have a captive audience upon whom I can demonstrate my enormous intellect.

Oh dear, the arrogance of it all.  My bubble has been well and truly burst.  I am questioning if I am mentoring to be good or to feel good?  Am I helping or just soothing my ego?  In the end though, does it really matter?  If the person who is being mentored gets something out of it and I feel good about the process it sounds like a win win situation.

At least I know now and I am sure there are bigger sins in the world than that glow of smug satisfaction.

About philjackman

Guerrilla Worker, strategic thinker, occasional maverick and reluctant over-achiever with an interest in culture change, creative opportunities and regional development.
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