I’m still exulting over the lead my Generous Mind man Jon Hirst gave me yesterday, forwarding me a copy of the free Masterful Mentoring e-newsletter from Triple Creek Associates, specialists in open mentoring to the corporate world.
(Why, oh why, are we consistently behind the corporate world in principles that we Christians once knew but increasingly neglect? I suspect on my worst days that I might learn more about biblical discipleship working for Quiznos or Kinkos or Cheerios than a church, since churches are still imitating the business practices that corporations are now eschewing, and corporations are blind squirrels stumbling onto biblical nuts with astonishing frequency these days. But I digress.)
Anyway, this month’s Masterful Mentoring e-newsletter focuses on generational impact on mentoring. Well worth a thorough read; absolutely relevant to Transformational Giving from beginning to end. By far and away the highlight is a chart summarizing the core elements of each generation’s understanding of mentoring:
I’m already overlaying this in my mind on top of the behavior and outlook of different champions I’m coaching from different generations, and I’m liking how it’s helping me to understand certain behaviors and attitudes I’ve observed.
For example, I’m realizing I’ve got to be cognizant with Millennial mentees that their default is to view my mentoring as situational, transactional, and temporary. That definitely squares with my experience, but I’d not yet recognized it as a generational characteristic. I’d always thought it was a character shortcoming in the specific young people with whom I was dealing. “Where’s their commitment?” I’d roar. “How can they tell me one day they’ll give their life for this cause, and then the next day they’ve found another cause to devote their lives to?”
I’m also seeing aspects of Baby Boomers’ and Generation X’s understanding of mentoring that gives me hope that we can engage these groups more constructively through Transformational Giving (TG) than has been possible through traditional/transactional fundraising (ttf), where these groups have hardly distinguished themselves by their commitment.
Finally, I see why many of the older TG practitioners I mentor doubt they can mentor their long-distance champions. As the chart indicates, Traditionalists believe mentoring only happens face to face. I hope they’ll check out the post from yesterday for an alternate take.
Worth asking yourself: Do you fit into your generation’s view on mentoring in the chart above? And does the chart help you to gain any insights that may be useful in shaping your champion coaching program with champions of various ages?