In an era of numerous WhatsApp messages, Facebook quotes, YouTube videos of life coaches, and blog-posts (like the one you are reading), motivational words are prevalent to the extent of being clichéd. Now you don’t need a leader to mouth them. So how should a leader motivate now? How should a leader inspire?

Well! A leader will now need to develop a new set of interpersonal skills –to play a new role, that of a mentor. Mentor is a “friend, philosopher and guide”. Wait! Before you start overestimating ‘mentoring’ as entirely different from ‘leadership’, it is important to clarify that mentoring is not separate from leading, it is an extension – a value-additive extension.

A mentor also leads, yethas a much holistic way of leading you. His focus involves, but is not limited to, the task at hand or the project going on. Her responses to you weave professional solutions into personal learnings with futuristic outlook.

For instance, a mentoris typicallymore emotionally available and listens intently by focusing on each word and observing nonverbal behavior for spotting emotions. This combination of language and body language gives her a peek into the mindset that individual is in. It’s only then that shepersonalizes hertreatmentby connecting to the person behind the professional. Thispain that a leader takes to follow this detailed approach is what makes her a mentor.

However, intention alone cannot make someone a mentor, one requires commensurate skill-set to do so. The base-skill of that skill-set is ‘Social & Emotional Intelligence’!It is defined as the“Ability to adapt one’s behavior on the basis of awareness of one’s own emotions and attunement with others’ emotions”. It helps you ingauging:

  • The exact motive/need of a person
  • The kind of life-circumstances and mindset a person has
  • The right words, gesture or deed apt for the moment in time
  • The extent and intensity with which an idea has to be placed

This combination of social intelligence and emotional intelligence helps one devise the most apt interpersonal solution in the given situation.And that’s what is at the heart of mentoring–building personal connect, and utilizing it to personalize one’s behavior for a desired (& ethical) outcome. Calling all the leaders out there…

Dr. Sandeep Atre (Founder-Director, Socialigence)