04 Oct A Great Story Requires a Mentor
Mentors Change Lives
In recent years there has been so much focus on storytelling, Structures like The Hero’s Journey, Dramatica and the W-Plot are becoming a necessity as the digital realm presses on as a major format in our lives. No matter what structure a writer leans toward, any story would be void without two key characters, the Hero and the Mentor. Our hero is the main character, someone who the general audience can empathize with. This takes place through their broken past, current challenge and the resulting change from pursuing the challenge. Just as important is the catalyst character or Mentor. This character exhibits empathy towards our hero causing us to immediately like them. The Mentor also shows a level authority directly associated with the challenges our hero faces. Our Mentor and Mentee relationship progresses through ups and downs and the mentoring process slowly takes place, eventually giving our hero the skills needed to succeed on his/her own.
Very few stories are about one person spending the bulk of their time with another person passing on all of life’s knowledge.
At WeKNOW we’re all about redefining just what mentoring means. Without a doubt the benefits of mentoring are unrivaled, especially when it comes to youth mentor programs and mentoring in the workplace. But sadly, those have become more than cornerstones for the mentor process and are pretty much the only place formalized mentoring taking place today. There are a couple of reasons for this.
- Mentoring has long been looked at as long-term and the relationships needed to spur the process are hard to establish
- The majority of us see mentoring as a stodgy, antiquated method, only available to groups of privilege. Mentoring in the workplace often comes to mind.
- When it comes to underprivileged groups like minorities and women, the mentors are typically donating their time and the focus is typically very general or very slow, based on availability.
Micro-Mentoring Is The Answer
When we look at the mentoring that takes place in a solid storyline, we see a common recurring theme; Micro-Mentoring. Very few stories are about one person spending the bulk of their time with another person passing on all of life’s knowledge. The one requirement for a mentor in a story, besides being empathetic to our hero, is being an authority in whatever it is that will solve hero’s trouble. It doesn’t matter if it’s the art of battle (Obi Wan and Yoda in the Star Wars series), how to box (Mickey in Rocky and Frank Dunn in Million Dollar Baby) or just being a great teacher (Dumbledore in Harry Potter and Professor Keating in Dead Poets Society). They all offered specific knowledge in short bursts, we call that micro-mentoring.Micro-mentoring has an amazing place in today’s society. We live in a world of “How-To” videos and content marketing. You can learn a lot online today from videos, online courses or blogs. But there is still something missing. The power of experiential knowledge is something for another blog, the life changing experience that can take place when two people come together over a common passion in a one-on-one micro-mentoring session is what we’re talking about here. In a short burst of time, averaging anywhere from an hour to half a day, the combination of targeted advice with the ability to ask specific questions gains massive ground towards solving any problem for the mentee. It’s why we started WeKNOW. Experts are everywhere… the world just needs a place in which to find them.
Every great story has a mentor. In Fact, they are the reason the story is great in the first place. They give us hope against all odds and make us feel safe in the face of adversity. Perhaps, because deep down inside, we all want a better life and good mentors have the answers!!