What is mentoring anyways?

During my time in St. Louis this week, Twitter connected me with 2 online friends: Kyle Reed and Andrew Kim. [aside: and a handful of others too, including a ride to church on Sunday]

The lil’ Flipcam caught a few sound bites of our (on-going) conversation about mentoring — watch video:

So, what is mentoring anyways? And what about coaching? discipleship? spiritual direction? friendship? apprenticing? training?

While I believe there is a lot of semantic overlap between all of these terms, I think the various definitions & different expectations of what is being asked of a mentor can result a big disconnect. Literally, a disconnect where a person declined a request to be a mentor. Maybe that’s (1 reason) why it’s hard to find a mentor. To contrast, my coaching friend Kirk describes mentoring as “someone who has resources to help you in a specific area.”

And, Kyle remarked on his blog about this dinner conversation and he was left wondering, “am I a good dinner conversation? What do the other people think of me?” For the record, I thought that was a great dinner conversation, better than good, and the food was delicious too.

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11 Responses

  1. Jim Gray says:

    ahh…i see you’ve met kyle reed…cool…good man!

  2. andy kim says:

    It was a great conversation, even better than the food methinks. Good to connect with you, brother.