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Managers as Mentors, 3rd Edition by Marshall Goldsmith, Chip R. Bell

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Serving the Breakfast of Champions

How does a mentor bestow a gift that by its nature reminds the protégé of his or her inability to see it? Below are five steps that can make giving feedback more powerful and more productive. The steps are numbered because the order is vital to their effectiveness.

Step 1: Create a Climate of Identification—“I’m Like You”

A key factor in giving feedback is the protégé’s embarrassment or awkwardness over some blind spot. Granted, embarrassment might at times be too strong a label for the protégé’s feelings, but at other times it is not strong enough. In any event, the mentor can enhance the protégé’s receptivity by creating a climate of identification. Make comments that have an “I’m like you”—that is, “not perfect ...

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