As I write this blog I am on the road again (shout out to Willie Nelson and to all of you that understand that shout-out), but I find myself in a different role. I’m mentoring a potential adjunct faculty member. I’ve been doing that more and more the past year. It’s something that I enjoy doing but I’ve also come to realize that there is no cookie-cutter recipe to how this will go.

Last week I was mentoring someone who has been a Mandt Instructor at an agency for many, many years. My focus with him was more on how to expand his skills so that he could better manage a class of up to 22 people instead of the class sizes he was used to (just ten when it came to the physical skills). We would debrief during the breaks and he would make adjustments after the break.

I mentored a woman who was brand new to The Mandt System. I had the opportunity to work with her during her fourth week of training. During the set up I asked her what she was prepared to teach and she said that she’d like to try to do it all. At each break and at the end of each day, she initiated the feedback and asked a lot of questions about specific elements of her presentation. When I would offer her suggestions for “next time” instead she would set things up and try it again utilizing the feedback that I had provided. She found it necessary to implement things immediately and to get it under her belt so that she wouldn’t forget.

Another example is a person that I worked with who would need some time to decompress before he was able to hear the feedback. We would debrief in the evenings, after we’d had our evening meal, or after he’d had a chance to distance himself somewhat from the day’s events. He also took copious notes and would read and re-read his notes. That is what cemented things for him. He also relied more heavily on role play and real-time practice outside of the classroom.

I read an article written by Lindsay Kolowich in which she said, “At its core, being a mentor is being a trusted advisor. Being a mentor involves making yourself available to support and advise someone when they need it, deliving that support in a way that makes sense to them, and always keeping that person’s best interests in mind.” I’ve found this new role a very rewarding one and I think it’s awesome that it’s yet another way that I can rely on building relationships to impact the lives of people receiving services.

Nikki Wince – Mandt Faculty Supervisor