Post-Christmas Resolution, Day 44 – Ask a Question Like a Mentor (Part 1)

Today’s giving: The fourth graders are deeply involved in their car project now in the engineering project I’m volunteer teaching. They are learning the basics of setting a goal, making a plan, implementing their plan, and figuring out what went wrong if their car didn’t do what they wanted.

tatou adjusting a tieAfter I wrote about how a good question can really help someone, I was asked,

“What are some examples of effective questions? How would a person come up with these questions?”

I’ll attempt to answer that in several parts.

Ask a Question Like a Mentor (Part 1, “Before You Meet”)

  • Practice listening – Don’t assume you know how to listen. Listening is hard. Practice giving your undivided attention to anyone who talks to you. Join Toastmasters and work on your evaluations. If you’re already a Toastmaster, evaluate every speech even if you’re not the evaluator. Practice, practice, practice.
  • Get some background knowledge – If you are going to help someone on how to build Foo’s, you better know a little about Foo’s. ‘Nuff said.
  • Learn about your mento* What is his/her skill level? What are his/her goals? Who are they? Establishing a rapport will help guide your questions.
  • Bring paper and pencil – Taking notes will help you find patterns in your discussion.
  • Remind yourself who this is for – The immediate goal is to help the person you are mentoring, not yourself.
  • Prepare to give your mento your undivided attention – Try to meet where you won’t get interrupted. Avoid taking calls. If you’re time crunched, don’t show it.

The question I would ask you, the reader, is

“What would you like your mentor to do before helping you?”

* Person you’re mentoring
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About Eric Winger

Our perception of time is key to how we use our time. The most fundamental way to change that perception is to give our time. This opens us up to new opportunities and ideas from which we can build to really make a difference. ... Yes, we *do* have time to make a difference!
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4 Responses to Post-Christmas Resolution, Day 44 – Ask a Question Like a Mentor (Part 1)

  1. John says:

    Thanks for answering these questions Eric!

    It does seem that listening is a key to coming up with effective questions. I am looking forward to reading more.

  2. Pingback: Post-Christmas Resolution, Day 45 – Ask a Question Like a Mentor (Part 2) | Resolve To Give

  3. Pingback: Post-Christmas Resolution, Day 46 – Ask a Question Like a Mentor (Part 3) | Resolve To Give

  4. Pingback: Post-Christmas Resolution, Day 47 – Ask a Question Like a Mentor (Part 4) | Resolve To Give

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