Living the dream is published on the 27th of every month by Tania Basheer of Blue Sky Coaching.
by Tania Basheer, Publisher

10 Ways to Be a Good Mentor

Vol 4, Issue 10
27 October 2008

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Quote of the month

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. "

-  Winston Churchill

Next month's feature:

10 Benefits of Having Good Mentors

In this issue:


Welcome to Living the dream, Blue Sky Coaching's monthly e-zine, written for small business owners, young entrepreneurs and service industry professionals and filled with cutting edge success tips to help you skyrocket your income, enjoy more personal time off and be known as a star in your field. 

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Hi! from Tania

Hi there,

Have you ever had a terrible customer service experience? My friend Suzanne and I recently had breakfast in a suburban cafe in Adelaide, and we had to laugh at how bad the service was.

I worked in hospitality years ago, so whether it's the McDonald's training I had, or a combination of common sense and manners, I couldn't imagine the situation playing out the way it did.

Suzanne ordered eggs benedict and, on the menu, it also said you could add various extras for a charge of $1.50. So, Suzanne said: 'I'd like to have eggs benedict and some spinach as well please, and I'll pay extra for that.' The girl behind the counter told Suzanne that the eggs actually came with ham. Suzanne replied, 'That's OK', and repeated that she'd like to have spinach with her eggs too, and would pay extra for it. Soon enough, the eggs benedict arrived - can you guess how? Without ham, but with lots of spinach!

Suzanne rolled her eyes at me and approached a woman, who appeared to be the shift manager, to explain what had happened, and to ask to have ham added to her dish. Incredibly, Suzanne's request was met with a frown and no apology at all. The woman took the plate away and when she returned, she said: 'That's not what it said on the docket,' and added, 'That will be an extra $1.50.'

I thought the saddest part of all was, I'm sure this woman thought she'd dealt with the problem efficiently! Now there's someone that could do with a lot of mentoring in customer service! Problem is, I don't think she knows it and chances are, neither does her boss, so it might never happen. But, in case she's reading this, next time, how about trying, 'I'm so sorry about the error and delay with your order. We haven't charged you for the spinach - I hope you enjoy your breakfast!'

Warm wishes,


Tania Basheer - Publisher
Living the dream e-zine

Feature: 10 Ways to Be a Good Mentor

Feature: 10 Ways to Be a Good Mentor

Good mentoring relationships can be richly rewarding, not only for the person being mentored, but for the mentor too.

Mentors can, among other things, provide exceptional learning experiences for their mentees and, in doing so, expand their mentees' awareness, insight and perspective.

Here are 10 things you can do to be a good mentor:    

  • Be credible: The best mentors I've encountered have been people that have credibility in, and have personally achieved success in, the area where I'm looking for support. For this reason, most people will seek the guidance of different mentors to help them develop specific skills or qualities, or to help them reach important decisions. Being credible doesn't mean that you need to have all the answers. The best answers for your mentee will come from their own thinking, with the help of your wisdom to support them.
  • Be a positive role model: Good mentors are respected by their mentees. A mentee can learn a lot from their mentor simply by watching how their mentor behaves in any particular situation. Good mentors will also look out for experiences, or even create situations in which their mentees can become involved to learn new things, for example, providing a look behind the scenes or a glimpse at how other people live or do things. 
  • Be genuinely interested in your mentee as an individual:  A mentoring relationship is a very personal one, which is often very important to the mentee, so, as a mentor, you need to get to know your mentee personally, about their hopes and dreams, so you can help them in a way that meets their personal best interest. For this reason, a parent is often not a good mentor for their child, as their parenting relationship and emotional connection will influence their guidance. That's not to say that a parent can never provide a mentoring moment for their child - they can - however, a parent can't be as objective as a person who's independent of the parenting role. In the same way, a manager is also not the best person to mentor someone on their team, as they'll often have a conflict of interest to contend with, between what's in the best interest of each individual and what's in the best interest of their team.
  • Share your experiences and insights: In doing so, choose stories that you feel are appropriate and helpful, but do so in a neutral way, without any attachment to how your mentee will use this learning. Be open to sharing your mistakes and failures too, as these are often where our biggest lessons are learned. It will also help your mentee be aware that challenges will arise, and the way you dealt with the situation might also help them gain insight about how to build resilience. 
  • Ask open questions: Asking your mentee open questions will help you as a mentor to identify their real needs, values and passions. It's also a great way to get your mentee to think through situations themselves and draw out the consequences of the various choices or courses of action they can take. During these conversations, you can share your wisdom, without making decisions for your mentee. That's their job.  
  • Act as a sounding board: Mentees benefit greatly from the opportunity of having a good mentor listen to them. Allow them to explore their thoughts and ideas openly with you. This will often help them unravel their thinking and gain insights about a situation as they share their concerns with you.  
  • Provide a fresh perspective: One of the benefits of working with a mentor is that a good mentor will often provide their mentee with a fresh perspective on an issue. A good mentor will often have the clarity of distance from an issue or problem that's needed to provide objective feedback to their mentee. They can also hold up a 'mirror' to the mentee to, for example, let the mentee see what their behaviour looks like to others. 
  • Provide helpful feedback: Not all feedback is helpful. A good mentor knows this and will deliver feedback in a way that will help their mentee gain insight to further develop specific qualities or skills. For example, a good mentor will always ask for permission to give feedback before doing so. Giving unwelcome feedback can be detrimental to any mentoring relationship. Instead, explain what you'd like to talk about first and highlight the benefits of doing this.  
  • Acknowlege achievements: Highlight for your mentee any achievements they might have forgotten, to help build their confidence. Remember to celebrate their successes on your mentoring journey too.
  • Offer your advice, but only if your mentee asks for it: It can be very tempting for a mentor to just jump in and offer advice before a mentee has actually asked for it, especially when you've dealt with a similar situation yourself. Being a sounding board for your mentee, allowing them to discuss the situation with you, then helping them to think through the situation by asking them questions to draw out the consequences of various actions, is always more empowering for a mentee than advising them what to do. It helps them work through the issue and come to their own conclusions. By doing so, you ultimately help them to learn to think through issues themselves and trust their own judgement, both valuable life skills.  

For more business, executive and life coaching tips to help you achieve your goals and create and live the life you've always wanted, visit: To find out more about how you can work with me personally, visit:, or call me on (08) 8338 3134 or e-mail me on

Choosing Someone Who's Right for the Job

Would you like easy access to an inexpensive, but highly effective and simple-to-use tool to help ensure you hire someone who's right for the role you want to fill?

A few years ago I discovered a great Australian online behavioural assessment tool called MyProfile. See for full details. I've used it with many of my business and executive coaching clients for the past five years, to help them identify their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as to help them select good staff. It can also be used to help with writing effective employment ads and job descriptions that ensure you attract the right kind of applicants.

If you're not sure that you're in the right career or business, it's also very helpful as a guide in suggesting alternative career options that you might be more suited to.

Call me on 0411 471 941 or (08) 8338 3134 if you'd like to discuss how I can assist you personally with MyProfile, including conducting an in-house workshop for your organisation or team.

What's Holding You Back in Life?

As a coach, one of the questions I ask my clients is 'Do you have the confidence to do whatever you'd like to in life?'

At least 8 times out of 10, to varying degrees, the answer is 'No'. This is where I find emotional freedom techniques (EFT) to be a great tool to help people overcome whatever might be holding them back in life from doing anything they'd like to do.

You can learn this powerful, quick technique now and have the tools you need at your fingertips to completely dissolve any negative emotions, thoughts or behaviours that might be holding you back from living life the way you'd like to, literally in just minutes!

Visit or call me on (08) 8338 3134 or 0411 471 941 to order any of my EFT DVD packages, or if you have any questions about EFT.

Please note, I'll be available until December 2008 if you'd like to arrange a personal EFT session with me or a group workshop.

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In The Irresistible Offer, author and new marketing guru Mark Joyner defines and explains this revolutionary selling philosophy, uses real case studies to show it in action, and helps you quickly and easily apply it to your own business.

Next Month: 10 Benefits of Having Good Mentors

I'm currently in the process of applying for the Professional Certified Coach credential through the International Coach Federation. Part of that process involves having mentoring with coaches who've already achieved that designation.

As a result, over the past few months I've had the great fortune to receive some wonderful group mentoring as well as invaluable, one-to-one mentoring. 

So next month, I thought I'd share with you 10 benefits I've discovered of having good mentors.

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