'SHUT UP AND LISTEN': The golden rule of mentoring

‘Shut up and listen.’ iStock

“Shut and listen.”

It’s not complex, but it’s a skill that could unlock hidden potential if used correctly during mentoring.

According to Professor David Clutterbuck, an early pioneer of mentoring and who has written 70 books on the subject, it’s the absolute golden rule to remember as a mentor.

“For senior people, shutting up can be quite a challenge,” he told Business Insider, adding that it’s important the mentor lets the mentee do most of the talking.

“The skill is to use their wisdom and experience to craft questions that stimulate the mentee to think out loud,” he says.

And when you choose to talk make sure it’s not rehearsed.

“If you know where the conversation is going there is no way that is a mentoring, or coaching, conversation,” he says.

“The moment you have a sense of direction to it, that you can predict where it is going to go, you’ve lost that special thing that makes it a mentoring conversation.”

And if applied correctly, it could be very beneficial to your company’s bottom line.

Mentoring results in a minimum annual savings of $390,000 for a mid-size firm, and over 500% ROI (return on investment), according to data collected by the Art of Mentoring.

NOW READ: The biggest mentoring mistakes, according to one of the world’s leading experts

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