The Pillars of Mentoring at 180th (Part 2): Our Holistic Approach to Development

By Clarice Fu.


In the previous article of this 4-part series, Clarice explained the roles and aims of a mentor at 180th.  In this second article, we describe our approach to developing our Rover Scouts.

Three times a year, a mentor and mentee will meet to set or review the mentee’s PDP (Personal Development Plan).  Before any goals are set, it is important to first engage the mentee in genuine discussion. These conversations help the mentee understand what they want to achieve, and what may be holding them back from reaching their potential.

At the PDP meeting, all aspects of the mentee’s life is discussed – school, career, relationships with family and friends, scouts, aspirations – anything that is important to the mentee.  It is important not to focus solely on the mentee’s scouting commitments, or their academic achievements, or only the project they are struggling with at work.   Oftentimes a mentee’s lack of fulfillment in one area of life is linked to challenges they face in another.  Only after we have tackled these obstacles are we then able to address performance in other areas.

Consider rover scout Joe, who has been in our crew for one year.  Joe is a second year university student majoring in Business.  He chose this major because his parents are successful entrepreneurs and expect him to work in their company and eventually take over the family business.  Since Joe joined the crew, he has been great – he contributes actively to many projects and has made friends.  Recently, however, his grades have been suffering and he has been withdrawing from the crew’s activities to make more time for studying.

If his mentor simply gave Joe tips to improve his grades and then asked him to participate in three crew projects this year, the mentor would only be addressing the symptoms and failing to recognize the underlying issue.  Instead, the mentor found out through deeper discussion that the root cause is that Joe is not at all interested in his parents’ business – his dream is to become a high school teacher!  Joe feels stifled by his parent’s expectations and as a result, has found it difficult to stay motivated at school and in the crew.  Without first addressing the internal dissonance that Joe feels about his career path, we will not succeed in dealing with the academic and scouting aspects of his life.

Joe’s situation illustrates how important it is to maintain a holistic approach to a rover scouts’ development.  We must keep in mind that a person’s life is not neatly segregated in buckets that are independent of each other.  This is why we firmly stand by the importance of understanding the mentee as a complete individual and ensuring that we address development at a holistic level.

The next Pillar of Mentoring at 180th is about our emphasis on goal setting.  Don’t miss it


Felipe Gasparino

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