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

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Avoid Perfection

There is one point this book makes over and over: the greatest gift a mentor can give a protégé is to demonstrate authenticity and realness. Conversely, the highest barrier to learning is an environment laced with expectations of perfection and implications of “Why can’t you be as good as I am?” There’s nothing wrong with mentors showing off to protégés, as long as what they are showing is their genuineness—clay feet and all. Consider the following suggestions:

• Tape your mentoring sessions to see if they contain controlling language: “I want you to …,” “You should …,” or the patronizing royal “we,” as in “Now we must take our medicine.”

• Listen for whether you are taking as many interpersonal risks as the protégé in being ...

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