Fears of Mentorship: What holds us back

Fri, Nov 29, 2013


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Last week we co-hosted a Power of Connection chat with Bobby Umar of Raeallan on the Fears of Mentorship. We discussed 9 questions with Bobby’s community of over 100,000 followers on twitter and below we have summarized the major responses that emerged for 5 of our questions that we felt would be most pertinent to our community. For the full conversation you can visit our storify here.

Q1. What intimidates you about reaching out to someone to be your mentor?

  • Being judged: Am I liked/accepted? If not, how will this impact me? What if I fail? If so, how will this affect me?

  • Being vulnerable: Will they be there when I need them the most? Can I trust them? Are there strings? Can I take their honest feedback?

Q2. As a culture, do we fully embrace asking for help when we need it? Why or Why not?

  • Where we do fully embrace asking for help:

    • We embrace helping

  • Where we don’t fully embrace asking for help:

    • We believe in doing things on our own

    • We’re more concerned with looking like we have it all together

Q3. What are the unknowns of about asking for mentorship?

  • How to approach a potential mentor

  • Whether there will be a good fit

  • How to create an appropriate relationship framework: time commitment and expectations

Q4. What prevents us from being vulnerable and sharing our deepest challenges and fears with others?

  • Fear that confessions will be used against us

  • Fear of being judged for sharing fears and apprehensions as weakness or looking “stupid”

  • Afraid that we’re alone in this and no one can help

Q5. What holds mentors back from committing to new relationships?

  • Mentors don’t want to disappoint a mentee with limited time

  • Confidence in themselves can hold them back from offering help

  • Mentors feel that sometimes it’s not a good fit

Watch out for our blog post on Tuesday with responses on how we can reframe the current blocks to mentorship such that they empower us to create effective mentoring relationships.

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