chapter 6

Mentor pitfalls and how to avoid them

I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.

Maya Angelou

Let’s look at some natural barriers or blocks on your own journey towards becoming an effective mentor – I’m calling them ‘pitfalls’. By pitfalls I mean things that you might do, or not do, or simply habits you might fall into which will reduce your positive impact as a mentor. While there are lots of potential pitfalls, the following seem most useful for you to consider:

1Placing yourself under too much pressure.

2Having an agenda, strategising.

3Allowing the idea of being a mentor to suggest superiority or prestige.

4Low levels of engagement.

5Avoiding dependency/mutual dependency.

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