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e-lecture Section II: What Do You Need to Get to the Next Level? Exploring Your Mentoring Needs

The concept of self-managed mentoring is about clarifying your values, assessing your own mentoring needs, setting goals and developing an action plan to achieve your goals. In other words, you design your own unique mentoring program.

The map that describes your mentoring strategies will be unlike anyone else’s. Your life experiences are always in flux and are being shaped by how you deal with life on life’s terms. As in any wise planning process, establishing a vision is the first step. The exercises in this section will help you reflect on the big picture of YOU and give you an opportunity to notice your themes and ruts, and consider alternative futures for YOU.

Activity 2.1: Dream Inventory

Every reality begins with an idea, a dream, a vision. Journaling your dreams, no matter how extravagant or insignificant they may be, helps to give shape to the path of the future. Recording these dreams in one place will help create a big picture of your future, illuminating the challenges yet to overcome to achieve your dreams.

So take off the blinders of probability and possibility. Throw out the filters of whether you need it, deserve it, or are worth it. List everything here that you’ve ever wanted—to travel, to own, to be or to become. Think about what YOU want.

In terms of Self, think about the total you. Consider what you want professionally, financially (materially), socially, physically, intellectually, emotionally, ethically, spiritually, and family relationship-wise. Continue adding to the list in your journal, as you create new dreams.

journal activity


Activity 2.2: The 100 Questions

(Gelb, 1998, p. 59).

journal activity

Step 1: In one sitting, in your journal, make a list of 100 questions that are important to you. The list can include any kind of question as long as it seems significant to you. Your questions may range from “Why is the sky blue?” to “What is the meaning of my existence?” to “How can I laugh more?” to “How can I enjoy the cloudy days more?” to “What grad school is right for me?” Write quickly, don’t edit. Don’t worry about repeating the same question. The first 20 questions will be easy, and the next 30 will offer themes and needs. The final fifty will likely be profound thoughts and unexpected discoveries.

Step 2: Reflection. Once you have the 100 questions written, set them aside. In another sitting, consider the emerging themes without judging them. Write your observations about the list in your journal. Look at the themes that are present…what do they say about the challenges and focus that you are presented?

Step 3: Your Top Ten. Choose the 10 questions of your 100 that seem most significant to you. Rank them in the order of importance to you. Don’t try to answer them, just put them in one place where you can easily find them.

Activity 2.3: Checklist for Personal Values

(Roberts, 1994, p. 210).

journal activity

Step I: Linked Activity.

Step 2: Now that you have identified ten values, imagine if you are only permitted to have five values. Which five would you give up? Cross them off.

Step 3: From the remaining five values, identify you top three and circle them.

Step 4: Take a look at your top three values and answer the following questions in your journal:

journal activity

1. Exactly what do the value terms mean to you? What are you expecting from yourself—even in bad times?

2. How would your life be different if those values were prominent and practiced?

3. What would an organization be like that encouraged its employees to live up to those values?

4. Are you willing to choose a life in which these values are paramount?

Activity 2.4: Checklist for Professional Competencies

(Strohmeier, Bonnstetter, Wentworth Drahosz, 1993)


Linked Activity.

Activity 2.5: Goal Setting

(to complete this exercise, you must first complete Activities 1.1-1.4, 2.1-2.4)

journal activity

From my 100 questions activity, what themes are present to me that I need to explore further? Enter those needs on the first pages of your journal.

What situation or type of relationship recurs in your life? Does this suggest a need? Enter those needs on the first pages of your journal.

From your dream inventory, what do you want to change in your life that will help you get what you want? Enter those needs on the first pages of your journal.

From your Checklist of Personal Values, what must you do in order to put your life and career pursuits in alignment with your personal values? Enter those needs on the first pages of your journal.

From the Checklist for Professional Competencies, enter the eight needs you have identified in the first few pages of journal.

Given your history and current situation, what do you need to get to the next level? Enter those needs on the first pages of your journal.

Complete the Goal-Setting Worksheet: Linked Activity.

Activity 2.6: Self-Empowerment

Have you been faithfully asking yourself the morning and evening empowerment questions? Remember, they will help you notice how you are in the world, but they will also help you see your life in a positive light and reduce your stress level!

Have you been using your support group of three to keep you accountable to this process? What do you need from them to complete the next section of this course?

journal activity



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