Knowing when to stop doesn’t necessarily come naturally. In fact, saying no, stepping back or letting go can be incredibly hard. It is certainly one of life’s struggles for me personally!
- I don’t stop eating on Christmas Day (or Sunday lunch!) even though I’m already full
- I get an injury and continue training or running
- I keep retaliating in an argument, only to further inflame the situation
I’ll admit that I have a history of not learning this lesson, but I like to think that I’m getting slightly better with age, although it’s not always the case (yes, I am human too!).
As a mentor, one of the challenges is knowing when to stop giving and allow time and space for our mentees to process and get insight clarity for themselves.
Before a mentoring relationship begins, we also need to know when not to start; every time we have to think carefully about taking on an individual who says they want to be mentored.
At iTS Leadership, one of our expert mentors will always lead a chemistry session before we agree to work with a mentee, as it is our deep-rooted belief that the mentoring relationship must be a healthy two-way connection based on openness and trust.
During this trial session we thoroughly explore the person’s motivation, their way of thinking and why they want to be mentored. We also find out how they hope life will be better as a result of us working together.
A fools’ game
I read a quote in The Missing Link by Sydney Banks recently that neatly illustrates the consequences for both parties of not knowing when to stop (or, in this case, start):
“Good advice is seldom welcomed in the mansion of a fool. Anyone who tries to force learning on such a person is indeed a fool as well.”
The truth is, not everyone we meet is open to hearing fresh ideas, especially if they seem counter-intuitive and in direct conflict to the person’s usual way of thinking. If they argue constantly why they and their ideas are right, the likelihood is that we’ll be pursuing an unfulfilling journey that will result in frustration on both sides.
The best approach in such situations is to wish them well and suggest they get in touch when they would like to consider another way. If we compromise our wisdom by working with such clients, we will have sunk into our own foolish ways.
Don’t be held back
Not knowing when to stop can have wide-reaching consequences. Not just on your time and energy, but on the quality of your decision-making and ultimately, on your success. Is it holding you back as a leader?
If you would benefit from some new insights and the opportunity to unearth fresh ideas to catapult your journey to Profit and Smiles, get in touch to set up your chemistry session with one of our expert leadership mentors.
We’d love to hear from you.