Today, I delivered a speech on mentoring as part of my Toastmasters curriculum on Persuasive Influence. (Wanna learn more about Toastmasters? Check this post) After each prepared speech in Toastmasters, an evaluator comments on the speech and also each of the participants of the meeting is welcomed to give a quick feedback on it.
One of the comments included a link to a TEDx video. I read it and then decided to write this post.
In my speech, I talked about mentoring and how mentoring functioned within Toastmasters. I informed people about protégés and how they should react. The speech from Ernesto Sirolli also mentioned a similar approach. The name of the speech was “Want to help someone? Shut up and Listen”.
Indeed that’s what we need to do. He explained that the western countries “helped” Africa around $2 trillions over the last 50 years time. And mentioned a book from a Zambian writer, how this money destroyed the continent. For more information, I strongly recommend everyone to watch the video. The speech has subtitles in many languages, thanks to the system of TED organisation.
In my speech on the other hand, I also mentioned about the relationship between a protégé and a mentor. I told that the protégé should be seeking assistance and help, not the mentor, out trying to help the protégé.
So many times, I tried to tell people what they were doing wrong and tried very hard to correct them. Or rather helped them to correct their mistakes. After many years, I realised that I was wrong. That I shouldn’t have spent my time and effort to help someone, who does not want and maybe not need my help. This is one of the critical points for me to start this website in the first place.
We live, learn and share our knowledge. This website is my way of sharing the little information I learnt over the years until now. I love learning. However, when we start teaching it doesn’t become about us any more. It becomes about the other person. If the other person is not going to understand or does not want to learn what we are saying, what it the meaning of talking? In other words, when we are about to convey some knowledge, we first need to be asked about that knowledge.
I always criticise the democracy in Turkey. Main reason is that it was not requested from the people. It was brought to us from good governors and visionaries like Atatürk. In Europe, on the other hand, people requested it. They acquired it with sweat and blood. So, our people do not treasure democracy as much as they should. It was not requested. It was simply given.
It’s the same with help. We need to help people only as they see fit. If we first don’t listen and learn their requirement , whatever we do, it’ll be just a waste of valuable time of both parties. At the time we learn the requirement of the person requesting the help, we can provide it. And it should not be something standard. The help should be custom made. As I said, according to the requirements of the person, who needs some help. And, of course, the given help will be a lot more precious.