Resources for the mentoring process

Ccm.gif (3585 bytes)

About Us Coaching Mentoring Free Resources Interaactive Courses Leadershiip Main Tab
For Mentors ForPartnersTabY.gif (1592 bytes) For Organizations Lessons For Life Resources & Tools Blank

Lessons For Life

Share your lessons for life with others

We believe that as a mentor, independent of your knowledge base and expertise, the most significant gift you can offer a partner are "Lessons for Life" - which can be loosely described as a person's ability to manage his or herself and relate to other people. These are based Daniel Goleman’s book, Working with Emotional Intelligence*.

Helping your partner learn and continually develop these lessons can be a lasting legacy. The Lessons for Life are what Goleman and others have called emotional intelligence competencies.  Why bother?  Researchers have shown that these competencies matter twice as much as IQ or technical skills in job success (and we believe for increased life satisfaction and success).

How do you teach these Lessons for Life, create behavior change? We’re not sure, hopefully others will share tools and ideas which will be presented on this home page. In general the approach is to help the partner gather data from multiple sources to take stock of their current behavior for each lesson, providing feedback in a supportive way, and helping the partner establish learning goals, make choices and plan for specific developmental activities.  Then fostering many opportunities to practice the desired behavior while supporting and monitoring progress.  The goal of lasting behavior change requires sustained practice.  The Partner's Journals, and the Six Steps For Design Of Learning Experiences discussed elsewhere on this home page are useful tools in helping develop these behaviors

For now, let us start with a descriptive list of those competencies that make up the Lessons for Life and within the purview of the mentor-partner relationship.  The list can help inventory those behaviors which are strengths and those where lessons can be developed to learn new behaviors.  No one is perfect, nor is it realistic to strive for perfection in all these areas.  Jointly evaluate and pick those that are critical for your partner's life, job, and career satisfaction.

Lesson #1: Accurate self-assessment: Knowing one’s strengths and limits. People with this competence are:


Aware of their strengths and weaknesses


Reflective, learning from experience


Open to candid feedback, new perspectives, continuous learning, and self-development


Able to show a sense of humor and perspective about themselves
Lesson #2: Trustworthiness: Maintaining standards of honesty and integrity. People with this competence:
- Act ethically and are above reproach
- Build trust through their reliability and authenticity
- Admit their own mistakes and confront unethical actions in others
- Take tough, principled stands even if they are unpopular
Lesson #3: Conscientiousness: Taking responsibility for personal performance. People with this competence:
- Meet commitments and keep promises
- Hold themselves accountable for meeting their objectives
- Are organized and careful in their work
Lesson #4: Adaptability: Flexibility in handling change. People with this competence:
- Smoothly handle multiple demands, shifting priorities, and rapid change
- Adapt their responses and tactics to fit fluid circumstances
- Are flexible in how they see events
Lesson #5: Achievement drive: Striving to improve or meet a standard of excellence. People with this competence:
- Are results-oriented, with a high drive to meet their objectives and standards
- Set challenging goals and take calculated risks
- Pursue information to reduce uncertainty and find ways to do better
- Learn how to improve their performance
Lesson #6: Optimism: Persistence in pursuing goals despite obstacles and setbacks. People with this competence:
- Persist in seeking goals despite obstacles and setbacks
- Operate from hope of success rather than fear of failure
- See setbacks as due to manageable circumstance rather than a personal flaw
Lesson #7: Empathy: Sensing others’ feelings and perspective, and taking an active interest in their concerns. People with this competence:
- Are attentive to emotional cues and listen well
- Show sensitivity and understand others’ perspectives
- Help out based on understanding other people’s needs and feelings
Lesson #8: Leveraging diversity: Cultivating opportunities through diverse people. People with this competence:
- Respect and relate well to people from varied backgrounds
- Understand diverse worldviews and are sensitive to group differences
- See diversity as opportunity, creating an environment where diverse people can thrive
- Challenge bias and intolerance
Lesson #9: Communication: Sending clear and convincing messages. People with this competence:
- Are effective in give-and-take, registering emotional cues in attuning their message
- Deal with difficult issues straightforwardly
- Listen well, seek mutual understanding, and welcome sharing of information fully
- Foster open communication and stay receptive to bad news as well as good

* Goleman, Daniel. Working with Emotional Intelligence. 1998. Bantam Books. New York: New York. ISBN 0553-10462-4

Go to top of page up.gif (52 bytes)

Contact Matt Starcevich,
Copyright, Center for Coaching & Mentoring, Inc.