First, realize that mentoring always relates to SELF-actualization (I emphasize "self" because it makes Maslow's concept more meaningful). Looking at the Maslow hierarchy, then, it would be like this:
SELF-actualization - Mentors Esteem - Coaches, counselors Social - Friends, therapists Safety - Police, Military Physiological - Grocery Stores, Huntsmen!
Mentors act at the highest level of advising and coaching. What they do when being most effective is to activate the person's real and potential SELF and move it into action using combined wisdom.
Does that make sense? YES NO
OK, a first step in the process is to assess aptitudes and abilities. Without the aptitude for something, a person will fall short of true SA. For example, considering abilities it is difficult for a person to be an acclaimed concert pianist or an expert machinist without fingers, or a prize-winning photographer without sight. Given fingers and sight, one then measures musical "sense" or the artistic aptitudes for photography (recognizing balance, testure, lighting, etc.) or tool making (spatial sensitivity, form, etc.).
So the mentor, being advanced and recognized in his particular field needs to recognize true aptitudes. One of the best places to start with this measurement, if aptitudes have not been properly assessed, is professional assessment, such as that done by the Johnson O'Connor Research Foundation. If the person you are advising does not seem to have the true aptitudes matching his goals, consider professional assessment as a start for the mentoring process.
To be continued when the chores are done.
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