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

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Ask Lots of Questions Up Front

Most protégés, when confronted with a mentor who does not fit the traditional mentor-protégé mold, show resistance at first: “What the heck could you teach me?” “Who appointed you Mister Know-It-All?” or “I’m just as good as you!” Just like mentors, protégés sometimes harbor the notion that mentors should be superior. Any deviation from the traditional order of things makes them nervous. A crucial first step is to allay protégé anxieties and deal with the resistance.

One way to deal with resistance is to put enormous focus, energy, and attention on the protégé at the start of the relationship. Demonstrate dramatic listening. Forget about reciprocity for a while. Let the interest be one-sided—yours in the protégé. ...

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