Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Everything rises and falls on relationships. Life is all about relationship, all other things are details. I quickly want to do some re-cap on what I have written in the first two in this interesting series on relationships and if this is your first, kindly see below or click on my notes Facebook ( olaniyi soyinka) for the previous. Every human being is a living magnet made for connection and not for isolation. You are where you are partly due to the relationships you’ve got and that is why you have to be deliberate about them-the reason behind this write-up; to enable you choose them, value them, cultivate good, cherish them, optimize them, diversify them.

There are four (4) types of relationships; the mentoring relationship, contemporary relationship, protégée relationship and spousal relationship. To aid retentiveness; I have decided to call them the 4-M’s of relationships and they include:

1. Mentoring Relationship

2. ‘Mate’ Relationship

3. Mentee Relationship

4. Marital Relationship

I have also said, 4 cos the no.4 represents balance. You are likely sitting on a 4-leg chair, driving a 4-wheel car, living in a 4-wall house. Ok? Balance. You will also observe you have North, South, East and West; front, back, right-side, and left side. This is what I am saying; you have a mentor ahead of you (your front), your mate (friend, contemporary) on your left, your mentee at your back and your spouse on your right. That is it- you are all covered. You get? And like I said in the last piece, I will continue with mentoring relationship, so let’s move on.

“For two people to share mind and heart, such sharpness severs

metal, and the words of those sharing mind and heart, such

fragrance is like orchids.”

—Commentary on the Appended Phrases,

I Ching, Tongren

The oxford advanced learner’s dictionary defines a mentor as an experienced person who advises and helps somebody with less experience over a period of time. However, primarily, a mentor helps the mentee clarify career goals (etc) and carry out a plan to reach those goals by sharing insights and knowledge they have gained through their experiences. Think of the mentor as a “learning leader” who facilitates a learning process, rather than as a guru who passes down “the word” to the mentee

“The mentoring relationship is like an estuary: part salt water, part

fresh, sometimes flowing in, sometimes flowing out, a meeting place

for all kinds of different things, fertile, fluid, dynamic.”

—Jay Gillen, Mentor

This is the issue; you need a head to go ahead. I know you have ideas and great thoughts that no one has seen, however, some have gone through that path and that’s why there ain’t a new thing under the sun. Some have said you need a father (mentor) else you become a feather and the wind will easily blow you away. Others say, fathers are like feathers whose wings you could easily fly. Whichever get a father-a mentor.

I must quickly say that it is mentorship and not sponsorship. You need to draw the line. What I am saying is that for you to be ‘effective’ in any profession, you need the tutelage of someone who has gone ahead. It must quickly also be said that this is not limited to ‘one-on-one’. If you have such, perfect. However, you can be mentored by biographies, stories, books, tapes etc. For instance, I have never met my favourite author and mentor (Dr .Myles Munroe) but he mentors me by his materials. Remember, the world is a ‘global village’.

The responsibilities of a mentor are as follows:

• provides guidance based on past experience

• creates a positive counselling relationship and climate of open communication

• helps the mentee identify problems and solutions

• leads the mentee through problem solving processes

• offers constructive feedback in a supportive way

• shares stories, including mistakes

• refers the mentee to other business associates

• must be honest about business expertise

• solicits feedback from the mentee

• comes prepared to each meeting to discuss issues

Some of the benefits you stand by having a mentor include:

GROWTH: a relationship that does not add to you in anyway should not be contemplated. Because your mentor should be/is more experienced, you tend to have a greater tendency to grow in the field you have decided to get coaching for and so a mentoring relationship provides for growth.

SPEED: since you mentor has had a lot of experiences- good, bad, ugly etc he/she will definitely guide and prevent you from going through those roads that will reduce the pace of your success. Your mentor will have, as it were, seen it all and so will show you the ‘smooth path’

• MONEY AND TIME: See, by having a mentoring relationship, you tend to save money and time. Obviously, by the wealth of experience of that mentor, the money and time you’ll have spent on some stuffs will be saved for some other things. So save money and time by having a mentor. Hope you get?

OPPORTUNITIES: one thing a good mentor will create for you are platforms. He/she will create room and open doors for you to express yourself and be all you have been called to be. Actually, the son is supposed to be greater than the father (the glory of the latter...)...that will be for another day.

SUCCESS: needless to say, by having a mentor (a good one), your level of success ultimately increases. You success may know no bound by the measure of ‘help’ you will get from him/her.

“I would not be here today without conscientious mentors. My

mentor has not only given me tools and taught me skills, but she has

become a lifelong partner and friend to work in social justice.”

—Doua Thor, Mentee

Other benefits include; increase in credibility, loyalty, increased level of knowledge etc

Now don’t you think I need to stop here for now... I will continue on the ways to get one subsequently and also some of the laws. For me, mentoring and being a mentee have been of great help. Go get a mentor and become one.

Until, I come your way again...keep building great relationships and remember to be deliberate about them.

Be all YOU CAN!

To be continued...



Three things!

1. "Think of the mentor as a “learning leader” who facilitates a learning process, rather than as a guru who passes down “the word” to the mentee" I love the way you brought it out that a mentor is not a guru but a learning leader. Many often misconstrue this. Thanks for that.

2. I love that we share the same favorite author and mentor - Myles Munroe. He is the man!

3. The balance part of the relationship is a rhema I will never forget all my life. Mentor (in front); Mentee (behind); Spouse (right) and Mate (left). Absolutely Awesome!

Bomi Jolly - JollyNotes said...

Thanks a lot for sharing these reminders! Have a blessed day... :)!

Myne Whitman said...

I have never seen this before and it is very insightful. Thanks for sharing and LDP for directing me here.

katatlyst said...


BIGSHOT said...

@LDP, i'm glad you enjoyed this and wanna say thanks once again for mentioning on ur blog. Myne came in via that.

@Bomi, like i said i owe you a visit to your site.Thanks

@Myne, it's really great to have you here o. The pleasure is all mine. Appreciate!