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

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“Why” before “What” and “How”

Mentoring with focus means taking time to help link emerging acumen with an exciting aim. It might not be the global vision of the corporation, like the forward-thinking Ritz-Carlton, but rather some short-term objective of the unit. Adult-learning guru Fredric Margolis says, “When giving learning direction, always let the ‘why’ come before the ‘what’ or the ‘how.’” The crux of Margolis’s point is that learners can psychologically and emotionally hear the “what” or “how” in a fundamentally different way if it is preceded by the rationale.

The rationale is always stated from the protégé’s perspective, not the mentor’s, or the unit’s, or the organization’s. Here is the difference:

 

From the Organization’s Perspective: ...

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