Balancing Your Life

Sept. 1, 1998
Role models are people you respect for setting worthy examples. They don`t choose to be role models; you choose them, and the focus is on their example. The key question is: Are they setting a positive or negative example?

How to be more intentional,

think more clearly,

do more consistently,

and have what really matters.

Role Modeling vs. Mentoring

Dick Biggs

Role models are people you respect for setting worthy examples. They don`t choose to be role models; you choose them, and the focus is on their example. The key question is: Are they setting a positive or negative example?

Mentors are people who`ve taken role modeling to the next level by serving more actively. They`re not chosen to be mentors; they must choose to give of their time, and the focus is on the protégés. The key question is: If they don`t get involved, who will?

Master mentors are teachers of life experiences and have these four characteristics:

- They pursue what is true. A protégé is on a lifetime search for truth. Who better to help you discover life`s timeless truths than mentors who`ve already struggled with these issues? Mentoring provides a way to shorten your learning curve and accelerate growth through seasoned guides.

- They turn creeds into deeds. It`s not enough for mentors to say what they believe. Words ring hollow unless they demonstrate their creeds every day by their deeds. Since it`s more difficult to model exemplary behavior than recite beliefs, a mentor shows the way and helps you deal more effectively with the struggle "to walk your talk."

- They use congruence to influence. Without congruency between creeds and deeds, there is hypocrisy and no credibility. Mentors can be a lot more influential by consistently living out their convictions instead of trying to talk protégés into their creeds. Mentors provide a pattern of congruency between words and ways.

- They collect a deep respect. By pursuing what is true, turning creeds into deeds, and using congruence to influence, mentors earn respect through a lifetime of "practicing what they preach." Dr. Michael Guido says that if you remove the letter "p" from preach, you have reach. If you delete the letter "r" from reach, you have each. Mentors reach each protégé through teaching at a personal level that fosters admiration and emulation.

In short, mentoring is a process of actively sharing with a protégé the details of who they are, how they think, what they`ve done, and why they have something worth pursuing.

Dick Biggs is president of Biggs Optimal Living Dynamics. An inspirational speaker, he is the author of If Life is Balancing Act, Why l Am I So Darn Clumsy? For more information about Mr. Biggs, call (770) 886-3035.

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