Professional Development Forum

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  • 1.  Empathetic Listening & Mentoring

    Posted 08-17-2021 15:19
    Edited by Quinn Drew 09-01-2021 14:43
    As I mentioned on my recent blog post, becoming an empathetic listener requires practice, self-assessment, and talking it through with other people. I'm most curious about it in regards to mentoring, but it really apply in lots of situations. Can we get that conversation started here? 

    Has anyone here been a mentor? Or been mentored? 
    What was your experience like? Did you feel heard? 

    #mentor #listening #professionaldevelopment #empathy



    Arnold Grahl

  • 2.  RE: Empathetic Listening & Mentoring

    Posted 08-19-2021 23:36

    Empathy is so important, especially in a mentor relationship! 

    Your post reminds me of this great little video based on the wise words of the incomparable Brene Brown. @Quinn Drew, you may have been the first one to find this video and share it with me a while back! Or maybe it was @Beth Power?) If you haven't seen it before, it's three minutes well spent!


    Brianne Haxton

  • 3.  RE: Empathetic Listening & Mentoring

    Posted 08-20-2021 08:29
    @Brianne Haxton, I love that video so hard. Whether I shared it or @Beth Power did, it means this: Beth, I think we were destined to have a drink or two together at some point.

    @Arnie Grahl - I think "feeling heard" is one of the greatest gifts anyone could give me. That's a weird sentence, I know. But what I mean is this: when I'm talking to someone (venting, telling a story, shootin' the breeze), and I can tell they're really listening (without judgement and with compassion) - it is one of the best feelings ever.

    I really liked this bit of your post: "Empathic listeners signal acceptance and set the stage for problem-identification and problem solving." That's exactly how I feel when I feel heard; I feel like regardless of topic, the floor is open for ​​continued discussion. If I'm externally processing a problem or sticky situation to an empathetic listener, I have confidence that whatever their response is, it will help me make sense of what's happening because they've listened whole-heartedly. 

    To paraphrase Ron Swanson: never half-[heart] two things; whole-[heart] one thing. 

    (Side note: anyone else a Parks and Rec fan?)

    Stay awesome,

  • 4.  RE: Empathetic Listening & Mentoring

    Posted 08-20-2021 08:56
    Edited by Arnie Grahl 08-20-2021 09:02
    @Quinn Drew  I love that quote from Ron Swanson. I actually had it written on a white board once. (But the original, not the cleaned up version.) Parks and Rec rocks.​

    The thing I wrestle with personally most about mentoring is getting over that pride thing to be willing to seek help. And I think that's where the empathetic listening helps. By setting a tone of acceptance and discussion and it's all good we're learning together. I had one mentor who was very good, but he kept pushing me in directions I did not feel I had the time or personality to do. He was right, I should have attended a lot of professional association meetings and networked more. But at that time in my life I wasn't  in a place where I had time and energy to do that, and I suck at selling myself. Eventually, the mentoring relationship ended because I felt pressured and that I was disappointing him by not following through on anything.

    Does anyone else find they have to overcome a reluctance to "being mentored" for fear of letting the mentor down or feeling pushed or just feeling it's a sign of weakness?

    Arnold Grahl