Mentoring Matters

December 2015
Volume 6 | Issue 10
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Readers' Book Club Guide
Starting Strong: 
A Mentoring Fable
In a nutshell, Starting Strong invites you to listen in on six mentoring conversations as they unfold over the first 90 days of a new mentoring relationship.
You Won't Want to Miss This!
International Mentoring Association's 2016 Conference
will be held at the Auburn University Dixon Hotel and Conference Center
Auburn, Alabama on April 13 - 15

Dr. Fran Kochan
Pre-Conference Workshop Speaker
Dr. Frances Kochan
Presenting: Cultural Factors that Impact Mentoring

Pre-Conference Workshop Speaker
Dr. Lois Zachary
Presenting: Making the Most of Mentoring

Keynote Speaker
Dr. Brad Johnson
Presenting: What Master Mentors Do and Top Ten Ethical Quandaries for Mentors
Tune in to Dr. Lois Zachary's 
Brain Matters Podcast

Your Gifts Matter

During this traditional gift giving season, we address a slightly different aspect of gift giving - - our individual gifts and talents.

Everyone has special gifts and talents. While each of us is uniquely gifted, not every one of us knows how to discover, develop, and share our unique gifts. It takes time, courage and steadfastness to do it right.

Discover Your Gift

The first task is to discover your gifts. Easier said than done, right? Here are some questions and strategies that can help.
Put aside false modesty and consider what you are naturally good at. What do you do best? What amazes you the most about you?
According to Daniel J. Levitin, author of The Organized Mind, certain aspects of childhood thinking can be revisited to help us as adults. Think back to your childhood. What activities brought you the greatest joy? What did people tell you were good at? 
Reflect on what you do now that you most enjoy. What do you absolutely love to do? What are you doing when you are so engrossed that you lose track of time?
Ask your mentors for an honest assessment. Their observations and honest feedback provides powerful insights that can provide clarity and perspective that self-analysis cannot. 
Use assessment tools to help determine your strengths. They offer clues and shed light on who you are, your personality style, expertise, and skill sets.
Develop Your Gift

John W. Gardner once said "true happiness involves the full use of one's power and talents." We often take our strengths for granted. However, it is only when we work on "strengthening our strengths" that we position ourselves for growth and development.
1.Are you making full use of your talents?
2.In what ways are your leveraging your strengths?
3.What are you actively doing to hone them?
4.By December 2016, what progress will you have made?
5.How will you hold yourself accountable for making progress?
Give It Away

You would think it would be easy to give your gift away. Yet that, too, is easier said than done. It starts with self-awareness and progresses to unconscious competence at giving our gift away.
Begin by setting time aside to think about your special gifts and talents. 
Honestly ask yourself, "What gifts am I giving away?"
One proven way to give your gift away is to become a mentor, to share your knowledge, skills and talent to help another person grow and develop.

If you are a mentor, ask yourself if you are bringing your best self to the relationship. If not, what else could you be doing? 

If you are not a mentor, consider becoming one and sharing your gifts and talents.
Your Gift to You

In this season of gift-giving, consider giving yourself the gift of self-awareness. Open up your thinking about the purpose, the work and the meaning of life. Celebrate your gifts and talents.

Wishing you a very Happy New Year from
the Center for Excellence Team
Lois, Lory, Dustin, Michelle, and Levi
A Note to Our Readers:
We believe that leaders cannot be effective without a strong and ongoing commitment to mentoring excellence. This belief, our passion for mentoring excellence, and our extensive experience in the field with organizations led us to create the Center for Mentoring Excellence. 
At our virtual center,, you will find mentoring tools and resources, expert advice and a forum for sharing best mentoring practices. We hope that you will visit us there and let us know how we can continue to help you raise the bar on mentoring in your organization.