Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Ref mentoring snapshot log 7

320 views

Published on

mentoring snapshot

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Ref mentoring snapshot log 7

  1. 1. REF Mentoring Snapshots From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 1:40 PM Dear Mentors, In an effort to keep everyone better informed and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF will from time to time provide short write-ups on matters related to our mentoring programme. These “snapshots” will take no more than a 5-minute read. We hope that you will make the time for this. Regards, YL Yee Here’s the first one… YMP-SNAP 0001 20110420 Did you know that the objectives of the REF are: 1. Assist underprivileged 15-19 year old students (“the students”), by providing financial assistance and personal educational support, e.g. mentoring and training courses. 2. Assist the students to stay in full time education; improve their grades; make appropriate career/tertiary education choices and provide them with access to appropriate “life skills” training opportunities. 3. Provide the students and their families with a network of opportunities and contacts so as to expose the students to a range of career choices that they may not otherwise be exposed in order to assess future opportunities properly. 4. Develop the students to their full potential by “being the best they can be”. 5. Nurture the students into good citizens who will make a useful contribution to society and who will in time involve themselves in activities for the betterment of their communities. For more information on the background of the REF please see the enclosed attachment “REF Mission and Objectives" and keep a copy of it in your mentor file.
  2. 2. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Friday, April 22, 2011 3:11 PM YMP-SNAP 0002 20110422 What Is My Role as a Mentor? It seems simple at first, the notion of being a mentor: someone who spends time with a young person. But once you are in the mentor role, you may find yourself in situations where you are uncertain about your part in the relationship. Is it appropriate to provide discipline when she’s out of line? What if I suspect he is experiencing trouble at home—what is my responsibility? How can I have the most positive impact on my mentee? There is no one answer concerning what your role is or is not. PAUSE AND REFLECT: Clarifying your role as a mentor. Ask yourself, 1. What role does the REF expect me to play as a mentor? 2. What role do I expect to play as a mentor? 3. What role do I think my mentee will expect me to play as a mentor? 4. What are some possible role conflicts and what do I think might be done to resolve these conflicts? Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise
  3. 3. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Thursday, April 28, 2011 9:59 AM Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot - Journaling YMP-SNAP 0003 20110428 What is a journal? Writing and keeping a journal holds the possibility of deepening our self- understanding, and to making added sense of our lives and what we believe. It can also help us to entertain, contain and channel troubling emotions and gain perspective. We may also develop a greater awareness of daily life; become more alive to what is happening to, and around, us in the daily round. At a practical level, writing and keeping a journal can both help us with administrative tasks (like reporting what happened, when and why) and with the process of setting goals and managing our time and priorities. Enclosed herewith is a set of slides which you, as a mentor, can share with your mentee on “Writing and Keeping a Journal”. Make a copy for him/her. Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise
  4. 4. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Tuesday, May 03, 2011 4:09 PM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot - Mentoring is Serious Business YMP-SNAP 0004 20110503 Mentoring is Serious Business The mentee must enter the relationship with the profound humility of the novice seeking wisdom, while the mentor must enter with the even profounder humility of the sage who knows how truly little he or she knows. When one teaches, two learn. Mentoring is serious business. It requires self-knowledge and conviction. If you can’t do anything except to just listen, you are already a good mentor. But if you are going to give advice, be careful. You are handling a young and impressionable mind. Don’t take things too lightly. You can do it, but know your limitations. Be mindful and be humble that you may not have the answers, so listen first. It’s alright to say you will think about it and get back. Then do your homework. Never be afraid to say, “I need help”. Mentoring can make the mentor a better person too. “It takes two of us to discover the truth; one to utter it and one to understand it.” Khalil Gibran Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: In an effort to keep everyone better informed and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF will from time to time provide short write-ups on matters related to our mentoring programme. These “snapshots” will take no more than a 5-minute read. We hope that you will make the time for this.
  5. 5. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 12:31 PM To: 'YL Yee' Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot - The Role of an REF Mentor YMP-SNAP 0005 20110510 The Role of an REF Mentor The role of a mentor is three fold. Help the mentee discover who he is. Help the mentee “be the best he can”, to reach his full potential. Finally, help the mentee learn to take responsibility for his future. What does this mean? It means, § Making time for the mentee § Being a role model, living and sharing noble values with the mentee § Providing the mentee with support, exposure and career guidance § At times, taking the mentee out of the comfort zone to stretch to his/her potential § Encouraging the mentee to write and keep a personal journal § Keeping the mentee in school and constantly improving “The miracle power that elevates the few is to be found in their industry, application, and perseverance, under the promptings of a brave determined spirit.” Mark Twain Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: In an effort to keep everyone better informed and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF will from time to time provide short write-ups on matters related to our mentoring programme. These “snapshots” will take no more than a 5-minute read. We hope that you will make the time for this.
  6. 6. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 10:53 AM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot - Values Eduaction Values Education In today’s open society, there is a multitude of both positive and negative influences. It is impractical, if not impossible, to protect a child from all the negative influences by physically isolating him from them without at the same time shutting out important experiences and positive influences as well. YMP-SNAP 0006 Yet the solution to this dilemma is to expose the child progressively to life but at the same time build in him a strong value system. This is the only realistic “protection” he can have from negative influences, while at the same time enabling him to pick up positive influences too. It can be very confusing at times, with the myriad of values one is supposed to instil in a child. Fortunately, this process can be kept simple. The most important consideration in building a strong value system in a child is to remember two things; give him plenty of love, and be a good example to him. Teach your child noble values, largely by simply living them yourself. “Open your arms to change but don’t let go of your values.” Tenzin Gyatso Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise The REF runs a Values Education Programme for students each year exploring noble values such as Self- confidence, Honesty, Responsibility, Compassion and Humility. The next ½-day workshop will be on 18 June 2011. Please arrange for your mentee to be present. NB: In an effort to keep everyone better informed and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF will from time to time provide short write-ups on matters related to our mentoring programme. These “snapshots” will take no more than a 5-minute read. We hope that you will make the time for this.
  7. 7. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 4:02 PM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot - Discovering Who You Are YMP-SNAP 0007 Discovering Who You Are “The role of a mentor is three fold. Help the mentee discover who he is. Help the mentee “be the best he can”, to reach his full potential. Finally, help the mentee learn to take responsibility for his future.” At the heart of the self-discovery process is the understanding of what values mean and discovering the values that are most important to you. Because ultimately you are defined by the values you believe in, that’s who you are. Don’t have any illusion that this is easy work. It’s a life time’s work. But you have to make a start now. Successful mentoring involves helping the mentee discover who he is, his true nature. The mentor’s role is to help provide the environment and the opportunity for this to naturally occur. He does this by being a confidant, a teacher, a role model, a friend, a nurturer of possibilities and most importantly, by maintaining confidence in the mentee, constantly nurturing the mentee’s belief in himself. "The value of identity is of course that so often with it comes purpose." Richard Grant Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These “snapshots” will take no more than a 5-minute read. We hope that you will make the time for this.
  8. 8. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 11:49 AM To: 'YL Yee' Subject: Mentoring Snapshot - Reaching Your Full Potential YMP-SNAP 0008 Reaching Your Full Potential “The role of a mentor is three fold. Help the mentee discover who he is. Help the mentee “be the best he can”, to reach his full potential. Finally, help the mentee learn to take responsibility for his future.” We tend to hang around with our friends because they accept us the way we are. Friends make us feel comfortable and seldom try to tell us right from wrong, they usually don’t judge us on what we do or don’t do. Friends never push us to our personal limits. Mentors on the other hand, will often encourage us to go beyond our comfort zone. This will help us stretch to our full potential. “A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” Benazir Bhutto Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These “snapshots” which takes no more than a 5-minute read is also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  9. 9. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2011 3:21 PM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: Mentoring Snapshot - Taking Personal Responsibility for Your Future – Part 1/2 Taking Personal Responsibility for Your Future – Part 1/2 “The role of a mentor is three fold. Help the mentee discover who he is. Help the mentee be the best he can, to reach his full potential. Finally, help the mentee learn to take responsibility for his future.” YMP-SNAP 0009 Awardee Darshinii at the “flying-fox” Many people associate responsibility with duty and obligations, which in turn are thought of as burdens. But personal responsibility is not a burden. It is a blessing. This becomes clear when we understand that personal responsibility is nothing other than the freedom to create our own lives. Yes, responsibility is equated with freedom and power. Once we awaken to this truth, we become liberated and empowered. We shed our victim mentality and gain the power to transform ourselves. “When we take responsibility, we admit we are the ones responsible for the choices we make. We, not other people or events, are responsible for the way we think and feel. It is our life, and we are in charge of it.” Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These “snapshots” which takes no more than a 5-minute read is also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  10. 10. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 4:45 PM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: Mentoring Snapshot - Taking Personal Responsibility for Your Future - Part 2/2 Taking Personal Responsibility for Your Future – Part 2/2 It is a main objective of the REF programmes to help the mentee learn to take responsibility for his future. This will essentially involve an awakening for him. YMP-SNAP 0010 Premanath at the Leadership Camp What is this “awakening”? It is the discovery that we are more than we think we are. It is the realization that we have taken on an identity that incorrectly or inadequately expresses our essential being. It is as though we have been dreaming and suddenly we awaken from the dream, look around, and become aware of a totally different reality. The challenge for a mentor is to provide the opportunity for the mentee to crystallize this awakening. Not by imploring but instead by patiently working, through the magic of question*, with the mentee to help him realize his “blessing” of personal responsibility. Together with providing example and exposure, the mentor can create an environment whereby the questions arise by themselves in the mentee. A mentee once awakened will naturally realize his purpose. He will then be more focused and know his priorities. “The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.” Robert Maynard Hutchins Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These “snapshots” which takes no more than a 5-minute read is also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  11. 11. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2011 10:13 AM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: The REF Mentoring Snapshot *The Magic of Question Through an almost magical process born of asking questions and listening, the Socratic Method helps you discover your inborn ability to create, think and solve problems. YMP-SNAP 0011 Responding at an REF camp debriefing Something almost magical happens when someone asks us a question and then truly listens to our reply. Like the proverbial key to a chest filled with incredible riches, questions seem to unlock our brains, help us make connections, invent new ideas, see an issue from different perspectives, and discover solutions to problems that we never knew we knew! Because such knowledge comes from within us, not from the outside world, it is truly “ours.” It quickly becomes part of our conscious knowledge; it is not something that we have to “stuff in” to our brains or cram for in order to learn. “Great mentors, unlike teachers, almost never provide answers. They rather seek to provide their mentees with the questions which they believe will best lead to the learning that is unique to the individual being mentored.” J.E. Hughes Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  12. 12. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Thursday, June 30, 2011 10:52 AMTo: ylyee@pc.jaring.mySubject: Mentoring Snapshot - The REF Values The REF Values Taking the Pledge at the Rotary club No man is an island. We do not exist independently but are interconnected to and interdependent on one another. Therefore, only in the well being of all can we hope to achieve our own complete well being. Yet we are no use to others unless we first help our self. The REF programmes therefore aim to help students who desire to help themselves, firstly discover who they are and then to help them unlock their potential – give them a better start to a better life. But we can fully unlock our potential only when we realize that we are meant for a higher purpose, a purpose beyond just self to one with a regard for others. Only by understanding that we are something greater than our individual self and that through selflessness we can access all of humanity, will we be able to unlock what we are fully capable of – our full potential. Then, will we be able to lead a complete, useful and fulfilling life. Learning to help one another achieve Those behaviours that are associated with developing selflessness and love for all, such as “Love Others as Your Self” and “Service Above Self”, are called noble values. Hence in the REF, students are taught to embrace noble values; not just in order to create a better life for themselves but to create a better life for all – a better world. “Education is ultimately beyond the development of self to something far nobler, the development of selflessness; that which links us with all humanity.” Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  13. 13. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Wednesday, July 06, 2011 12:26 PM ToSubject: REF Mentoring Snap Shot - Mentor Visits YMP-SNAP 0013 Have You Visited Your Mentee Lately? REF Mentor Obligations To provide the best guidance to the mentee, a mentor under the REF Youth Mentorship Programme has the following main obligations: Mentor Teng Yoong (L) with student Chye Soon and his mother at a mentor visit Attend the Presentation of the Awardee and 1st mentor briefing at the Rotary club meeting Visit the mentee ideally once a month (set the next meeting date at each visit), submit the visit report, collect & submit mentee school results when available and develop a good relationship with the mentee Attend the quarterly Mentor Support Group Meeting Attend the 1-day Annual Youth Mentorship Training Workshop organized by the REF Be familiar with REF Mentor Manual – its Policies & Guidance Get the mentee to attend at least some of the Rotary club service projects Escalate any complicated problems to Rotary club Be a role model to the mentee, always being conscious that the mentor’s commitment and values are being observed by mentee Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  14. 14. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 1:16 PM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snap Shot - Mentee Performance YMP-SNAP 0014 Has your Mentee been “performing”? REF Mentee/Awardee Obligations Achieving the desired objectives of the REF Mentorship programme is an end. Along the way, a good mentee is one who appreciates that fulfilling his/her obligations under the programme will improve the chances of achieving the desired outcome. S/he is expected to fulfill the following obligations: REF Awardees at the recent Values Education Workshop held on 25 June 2011 Mandatory: Live up to the Awardee Pledge Make time for mentor visits Be punctual for Mentor visits/meetings and appointments Honour commitments, e.g. return mentor phone calls and provide information promptly when requested Keep expenditure receipts and accounts Keep the Awardee Passbook and Journal updated Attend the annual REF Leadership Camp and Values Workshop/s Attend the REF life-skills training seminars when organized Good to Do: Ø Participate in Rotary service projects when invited Ø Interact with and get to know the Rotarians and other volunteer mentors Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  15. 15. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 2:15 PM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snap Shot - Begin with the End in Mind YMP-SNAP 0015 Begin with the End in Mind If you want to go somewhere you must have the outline planned. You don't need every single detail because you can’t see into the future. Simply think beyond today and decide what direction you want to take, so that each step you take is always in the right direction. Volunteer mentor Richard Hoy with mentee Premanath Great mentors prepare the way for the ending of the relationship in the same way that great chess masters are always looking three to four moves ahead. For the mentee this process is often opaque and should be, if the ongoing learning process is not to be interrupted before its proper conclusion. Acknowledging the transitory nature of this relationship at the beginning gives the greatest promise for its successful conclusion. Mentorship requires that both parties begin by agreeing on how it will end. “If you don’t know where you are going, than you probably won’t get there.” – Forrest Gump Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  16. 16. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 11:56 AM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snap Shot - What is a Role Model? YMP-SNAP 0016 What is a Role Model? The term role model is considered in the widest sense from an individual simply “perceived as exemplary, or worthy of imitation”, to the inspirer “through personal contact” and “relationship”. Thus, mentors are seen as one type of role model, and mentoring programs are subsumed under the broader category of role model programs. Mentor Veiven Goon with mentee Sharipah Who can be a role model? Young people perceive a range of individuals as potential role models, including celebrities and other famous people, family members, adult community members, teachers and peers. They may see different groups as role models in different kinds of ways. As an REF mentor, be keenly aware that you are also privileged to be a role model and that you should not only share noble values with your mentee but live them as well. Remember that your behavior and actions are constantly being observed by your mentee. Let it not be like “a crab teaching its young to walk straight.” It has been said; “the mediocre teacher tells, the good teacher explains, the superior teacher demonstrates but the great teacher inspires.” “There is no teaching to compare with example.” – Sir Robert Baden-Powell Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  17. 17. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Wednesday, August 03, 2011 1:25 PM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snap Shot - Instilling the Spirit of Volunteerism YMP-SNAP 0017 Instilling the Spirit of Volunteerism One of the objectives of the REF is to help create awareness among our Awardees (mentees) that we live in an interdependent world and that we should be helping others too. Thinking beyond self. Awardee Yu Xin at the Tree Planting Project by the Rotary club held on 23 Apr 2011 Additionally, an interdependent world does not only mean helping other fellow human beings in need but also ensuring that our environment is clean and sustainable for future generations to come and in doing so, making our world a better one in which to live. To this end and to instill the spirit of volunteerism, whenever the opportunity arises, we encourage our Awardees to come for some of the community service projects we organize as a Rotary club, to give them this exposure and appreciation. It is not compulsory, but it is an important part of our education assistance to them. While we are striving to achieve our potential, we remember that it is our responsibility to help others achieve theirs too, giving value and meaning not just to our life but to the lives of others as well. “How can we expect our children to know and experience the joy of giving unless we teach them that the greater pleasure in life lies in the art of giving rather than receiving?” – James Cash Penney Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  18. 18. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Tuesday, August 09, 2011 11:49 AM To: 'YL Yee' Subject: REF Mentoring Snap Shot - Humility YMP-SNAP 0018 Humility Mentorship starts with humility. To be a highly successful mentor, you must first humble yourself like a little child and be willing to serve others. Nobody wants to follow someone who is arrogant. Be humble as a child. Always curious, always hungry and thirsty for knowledge. For what is excellence but knowledge plus knowledge plus knowledge - always wanting to better yourself, always improving, always growing. When you are humble, you become genuinely interested in people because you want to learn from them. And because you want to learn and grow, you will be a far more effective listener, which is the #1 mentorship communication tool. When people sense you are genuinely interested in them, and listening to them, they will naturally be interested in you and listen to what you have to say. Unfortunately, many mentors treat mentoring as an ego trip whereby they talk about nothing but themselves. The process of mentoring someone is not about the mentor - it is about the student. A great mentor is able to put his own ego to one side and make it about the student. A mentor is in the business of helping others and passing on his knowledge. Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  19. 19. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 11:59 AM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snap Shot: Help Your Self to Help Others – The Awardee Pledge YMP-SNAP 0019 Help Your Self to Help Others – The Awardee Pledge One of the most important qualities an REF Awardee must have is “the desire to help oneself”. This is not to say that those who can’t help themselves do not need help but the REF is not the right party to render such help because as a group of part-time volunteers, we are less effective at helping those who will not help themselves. Awardee Jen Nee taking the Pledge For a potential Awardee, the desire to help oneself is assessed by a student’s academic results and her participation in extra-curricular activities. Yet a desire to help oneself alone does not make one a useful person. Being useful requires one to make a positive contribution to society. And so, to complement the financial assistance provided, the REF programmes together with participation in some of the voluntary community service projects of the Rotary club are aimed at instilling awareness that in the larger context, being useful means being able to help others in need. Indeed the REF exists only because others – Rotarians and volunteers – have regarded it as their service to the community. Awardees are taught that in order to be useful, they have to help others; and in order to help others, they have to first help themselves. Finally, that if they make it their aim to be a useful member of society, they will in turn have a meaningful and fulfilling life. Understanding these aims for the Awardee formally begins with the taking of the Awardee Pledge at a meeting of the Rotary club. To remind us of our vision for the mentee, “The Awardee Pledge” is attached herewith and in your mentor file. Please find time to review it in detail together with your mentee.
  20. 20. Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  21. 21. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2011 10:27 AM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snap Shot: Only When We are One YMP-SNAP 0020 Only When We are One Throughout the REF Youth Mentoring Programme, two dedicated mentors are assigned to visit the student (mentee). Especially in the initial phase of the programme, these visits are done in the presence of the parents/guardian. The role of Rotary and the objectives of the mentoring programme are clearly explained in the beginning of the mentorship to both student and parents Awardee Joshua with mentors Frances Po (L) and Lee Hooi Cheng In time, only after confidence and trust have developed with the parents/guardian, the mentors may spend some time with the student alone. In the REF, mentors are deployed in pairs as back-ups for one another, for safety and security, and to improve mentoring quality by being able to provide mutual feedback. However we must always be sensitive to the fact that the appearance of two older adult individuals as mentors can be a daunting experience for the young student. The mentee may be overawed during the mentoring sessions, experiencing difficulty expressing herself and becoming withdrawn. Mentors must recognize this aspect, and therefore have to go the extra mile to try and make the mentee as comfortable as possible. Always be conscious of this fact that as REF mentors, you are “two” and the mentee is “one”. Yet in the end, the mentoring programme can only be successful by overcoming this challenge, when mentors and mentee “become one”, in pursuit of the common objective of developing the mentee to her full potential. Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise
  22. 22. NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  23. 23. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 11:33 AM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snap Shot: An Everyday Mentor YMP-SNAP 0021 An Everyday Mentor: Vertulie Ferdinand F. “She was my rock. She opened her door in 1971 to me when I was 2 years old. She taught me moral values and with her nurturing love, I became a nurse, a business woman, most of all a philanthropist. I opened a school for children and adults, 4 clinics and an orphanage in Haiti. Vertulie taught me to love others and to share. She instilled in me the faith in myself, education and determination. Just by watching her every day I am able to be who I am today.” …Vertulie Ferdinand was born in La Vallee, Haiti. She died in 1996. Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  24. 24. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Wednesday, September 07, 2011 11:16 AM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snap Shot: The Types of Mentors YMP-SNAP 0022 The Types of Mentors The first is the “pleaser”. This kind of mentor just wants to please the student and won't cause any waves. This type of mentor is deadly to a student's progress. A mentor is not there to be a student's best friend; he is there to get the student to reach his full potential - and that can often mean confronting and challenging the student. If a student's work is not good, he needs to know or he will never improve. Mentor Kong with student Pui Yee The next is the “dinosaur”. This is a mentor who has been teaching for 100 years and has lost touch with young people. The mentor has worked with students since 1895. He may have some insights of value but he hasn’t kept pace with current developments and changes. The last is the “truth-teller”. This kind of mentor will tell it like it is - warts and all. He does it not to offend but to create pressure whereby the student pushes himself to his full potential. But besides confronting, the mentor also nurtures. The student should be aware that the mentor has his best interest at heart, to ensure too that when the difficult critiques arise the student is able to deal with them. There could be a fourth, the “destroyer”. This is the kind that only confronts and tears a student down but doesn't build him back up. This is counter-productive and won't allow the student to move on. Enclosed herewith is a copy of the newly issued “Mentor Self Assessment” form. Please make a copy for your mentor file and find some time to do the assessment to improve the quality of your mentoring.
  25. 25. Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  26. 26. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 2:55 PM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snap Shot: Leadership Development YMP-SNAP 0023 Leadership Development We are something far greater than our individual self. Our interrelatedness and interdependence on one another means that we have access to the rest of humanity. An ability to tap into the rest of humanity means that we can achieve far greater than what we are able to just by our self alone. Students negotiating an obstacle course at the REF Leadership Camp Developing leadership skills means developing the ability to communicate, to express our thoughts (and at times even our feelings) clearly to build effective teams by motivating and inspiring the best out of others. It is to be able to work with each other to achieve a common objective and that means understanding that the whole is far greater than the sum of the individual parts. And therefore the quality of our relationships with one another has a direct impact on what we are capable of doing – achieving our full potential. Our leadership qualities enable us to effectively tap into the rest of humanity. In other words, to reach our full potential we must develop our qualities of leadership. Leadership is not going around telling everyone, “I am a leader” or even that, “I am prepared to lead”. The philosopher Lao Tzu said, “Of the best leaders, when the work is done, the people say, ‘We did it ourselves.’” Leadership is but one of the noble values taught in the REF. It is important enough that a dedicated programme is designed just for this value alone. Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  27. 27. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 11:04 AM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot: Inner Peace YMP-SNAP 0024 Inner Peace I am passing this on to you because it definitely worked for me and we all could use more calm in our lives. By following the simple advice I heard on a Medical TV show, I have finally found inner peace. A doctor proclaimed the way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started. Awardee Prem with Rotarian Poay Lim In a light moment at the Leadership Camp So I looked around my house to see things I'd started and hadn’t finished, and, before leaving the house this morning, I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of shhardonay, a bodle of Baileys, a butle of vocka, a pockage of Prunglies, tha mainder of botal Prozic and Valum scriptins, the res of the Chesescke an a box a choclits. Yu haf no idr hou gud I feal. Peas sha dis to dem yu fee AR in ned ov inr pis. Something light this week you didn’t expect? Have a nice day. Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  28. 28. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 12:18 PM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot: Guiding Students and Training Parents YMP-SNAP 0025 Guiding Students and Training Parents Educating children is mostly about educating parents on their conduct. In turn, the conduct of parents is an education to the children. “The value of a marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults.” – Peter De Vries, novelist L-R: Mentors May Lim, Mun Yee with Awardee Noel and his mother Sharon A child is generally born emotionally well balanced and full of self-confidence. Often over time and through bad habits, parents unwittingly erode his/her self- confidence, adversely affecting his emotional well-being. In a child’s education, the responsibility of parents is three fold: Provide the child with a good set of values (environment), create the space and opportunities (exposure) for the child to discover himself, and forbear eroding his self-confidence. Like educating children, mentoring too is a lot about training parents/guardian on their “conduct”. An REF mentor may spend about 2-3 hours in a month with the student. Whereas parents spend much of the available formative time with him. They are his real guides and greatest influence. A mentor can teach the student good values only to have the work undone by parents if they do not believe in or fully appreciate the purpose of the mentoring programme. Help parents understand the philosophy of the programme and how it is a good path for their child. Request that they be present at the mentoring sessions, especially in the beginning. In between mentor visits, have parents reinforce the messages you are trying to convey. Invite parents to our REF activities. Parents must not do anything that may sabotage the process. For any student mentoring programme to succeed, parents must subscribe to the values being taught, working hand-in-hand as supportive partners to the mentor/s.
  29. 29. Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  30. 30. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Tuesday, October 04, 2011 4:18 PM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot: Identity vs. Role Confusion – Pt 1/2 YMP-SNAP 0026 Identity vs. Role Confusion – Pt 1/2 (Adolescence, 12 to 18 years) As they make the transition from childhood to adulthood, adolescents ponder the roles they will play in the adult world. Initially, they are apt to experience some role confusion - mixed ideas and feelings about the specific ways in which they will fit into society - and may experiment with a variety of behaviors and activities (e.g. tinkering with cars, baby- sitting for neighbors, affiliating with certain political or religious groups). Awardee Kushallini during a break at the Leadership Camp 2011 Eventually, most adolescents achieve a sense of identity regarding who they are and where their lives are headed. Erikson* is credited with coining the term "Identity Crisis”. This turning point in human development seems to be the reconciliation between “the person one has come to be” and “the person society expects one to become”. This emerging sense of self will be established by “forging” past experiences with anticipations of the future. What is unique about the stage of Identity is that it is a special sort of synthesis of earlier stages and a special sort of anticipation of later ones. Youth has a certain unique quality in a person's life; it is a bridge between childhood and adulthood. Youth is a time of radical change—the great body changes accompanying puberty, the ability of the mind to search one's own intentions and the intentions of others, the suddenly sharpened awareness of the roles society has offered for later life. – An extract from the Wikipedia *Erik Erikson was a renowned Danish-German-American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on social development of human beings.
  31. 31. Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  32. 32. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 2:26 PM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot: Identity vs. Role Confusion – Pt 2/2 YMP-SNAP 0027 Identity vs. Role Confusion – Pt 2/2 (Adolescence, 12 to 18 years) Adolescents "are confronted by the need to re-establish boundaries for themselves and to do this in the face of an often potentially hostile world." This is often challenging since commitments are being asked for before particular identity roles have formed. At this point, one is in a state of 'identity confusion', but society normally makes allowances for youth to "find themselves," and this state is called 'the moratorium'. Students debriefing at the Leadership camp 2011 The problem of adolescence is one of role confusion—a reluctance to commit which may haunt a person into his mature years. Given the right conditions— and Erikson* believes these are essentially having enough space and time, a psychological moratorium, when a person can freely experiment and explore— what may emerge is a firm sense of identity, an emotional and deep awareness of who he or she is. No matter how one has been raised, one’s personal ideologies are now chosen for oneself. Oftentimes, this leads to conflict with adults over religious and political orientations. Another area where teenagers are deciding for themselves is their career choice. If parents or society is too insistent, the teenager will acquiesce to external wishes, effectively forcing him/her to “foreclose” on experimentation and, therefore, true self-discovery. According to Erikson, when an adolescent has balanced both perspectives of “What have I got?” and “What am I going to do with it?” he or she has established their identity. – An extract from the Wikipedia *Erik Erikson was a renowned Danish-German-American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on social development of human beings.
  33. 33. Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  34. 34. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 3:27 PM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot: Goal Setting YMP-SNAP 0028 Goal Setting You are all packed and ready to go on your first cross country drive. You are going to see it all. You put the car in gear and you are off the blocks. First stop Bentong and then Gua Musang and eventually to Kota Baru. An hour into the drive you come across an unfamiliar intersection and you have to pull out the map for the first time. You panic when you realize that the map is out of date and does not list the intersection. You are confused and you mutter some expletives. You turn right, change the radio station and press on. You say the heck with it because you know where you are going. By the end of the day, and many expletives later, you finally arrive at Jerantut. Unfortunately, you never reach Kota Baru. Too many of us treat goal setting the same way. We dream about where we want to go, but we don’t have a map to get there. What is a map? In essence, the written word. What is the difference between a dream and a goal? Once again, the written word. But we need to do more than simply scribble down some ideas on a piece of paper. Our goals need to be complete and focused, much like a road map. To help you and your mentee reach the destination, the REF provides a set of templates to help you set out the longer term goals of the mentorship, the immediate mentoring session goals (which should be consistent with the longer term goals) and to review the goals every six months. If you don’t already have them please ask for them from the YMP Lead. “If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.”
  35. 35. – Yogi Berra Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  36. 36. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 3:53 PM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot: Not Deciding for but Supporting the Mentee YMP-SNAP 0029 Not Deciding for but Supporting the Mentee It is never the task of the mentor to resolve all the mentee’s challenges with a magic wand. It is never the role of the mentor to make decisions for or to do the work of the student or his family. If that were to happen, laziness would triumph and the mentee would never gain the necessary knowledge or experience to be responsible. Volunteer Mentor Mun Yee with Awardee Noel The project to help and educate the student is based on the student understanding his strengths and weaknesses; understanding his own errors and on the effort he makes to overcome and avoid them in future. And so a good mentor cannot force help onto the mentee. The mentee must want it. As an outsider, the mentor is not the one experiencing the challenging situation of the mentee and his family. So her role cannot be to decide for the mentee. The mentor is an advisor and impresses that important decisions must rest with the mentee (and his family). The mentor listens, shares her experience, and helps the mentee identify all options available to him so that he (mentee) can make a quality decision and understands the consequences of his choice. Sometimes the mentor may help secure some relevant resources. Knowing that he must take full responsibility and that he must live with the consequences of his decisions, the mentee (and his family) has ownership of important decisions. And once a decision is made in this way, a good mentor must then fully support his mentee. Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  37. 37. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Tuesday, November 01, 2011 3:30 PM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot: A Compassionate Individual YMP-SNAP 0030 A Compassionate Individual: Dr. Harini P. While the majority of physicians in our suburb refuse to treat patients on Medical Assistance, Dr. Harini P. is a dedicated pediatrician who not only accepts these patients, but gives them excellent medical care and treats them with dignity and respect. She is always accessible to her patients, never too busy for to take a call from a concerned parent or to spend extra time during a visit to provide reassurance. Patient care is her priority, from staying late to see a sick child brought in without an appointment, to treating a child who has no insurance and can't pay for service. She is as thoughtful and considerate of colleagues and associates as she is of patients, whether it's making time to see a pharmaceutical rep who's dropped by, or allowing her employees flexibility in their work schedules. A gentle soft-spoken woman, she has provided loving care for the children in this community for almost 20 years. Her compassionate and nurturing touch combines with her dedication to staying abreast of current trends in pediatric medicine to make her the embodiment of a genuine "Dr. Mom." She certainly deserves recognition for her extraordinary efforts on behalf of children and families. Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  38. 38. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Thursday, November 10, 2011 4:32 PM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot:When You are Speaking More than I YMP-SNAP 0031 When You are Speaking More than I Typically, at the beginning of the mentoring programme, communication between mentor and mentee is a one way street, with the mentor doing more of the talking. This may be necessary initially as the mentor goes about setting the parameters of the mentorship being obliged to do a bit of defining, explaining and “teaching”. Awardee Thenmoli presenting at the Leadership Camp 2011 However it is an intention of the mentoring programme that over time, the mentee eventually learns to express herself clearly and effectively. Hence the mentee must be given the opportunity to not just speak for the sake of speaking, but to speak when expected to, and to speak with substance. He must feel the freedom to express, reflecting a healthy relationship. And so the mentor must eventually transition from a talking mode to a listening mode. However this can only occur when the mentee learns to trust the mentor and understands her good intentions. So work on building trust and letting go of “lecturing”. The mentoring sessions should be one where the mentee looks forward to with excitement and is bursting to share with the mentor her thoughts and experiences that happened since the last session. The mentee should be “speaking more than the mentor”, with the mentor quietly listening. When this happens, the mentor has become a friend. Be conscious of this from the beginning. It is one of the key objectives of a good mentorship. Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise
  39. 39. NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors..
  40. 40. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Friday, November 18, 2011 11:15 AM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot: Origins of the Mentor YMP-SNAP 0032 Origins of the Mentor Telemachus and Mentor In Greek mythology, Mentor was the son of Alcimus or Anchialus. In his old age Mentor was a friend of Odysseus who placed Mentor and Odysseus' foster-brother Eumaeus in charge of his son Telemachus, and of Odysseus' palace, when Odysseus left for the Trojan War. When Athena visited Telemachus she took the disguise of Mentor to hide herself from the suitors of Telemachus' mother Penelope. As Mentor, the goddess encouraged Telemachus to stand up against the suitors and go abroad to find out what happened to his father. When Odysseus returned to Ithaca, Athena appeared briefly in the form of Mentor again at Odysseus' palace. Because of Mentor's relationship with Telemachus, and the disguised Athena's encouragement and practical plans for dealing personal dilemmas, the personal name Mentor has been adopted in English as a term meaning someone who imparts wisdom to and shares knowledge with a less experienced colleague. The first recorded modern usage of the term can be traced to a 1699 book entitled Les Aventures de Telemaque, by the French writer François Fénelon. In the book the lead character is that of Mentor. This book was very popular during the 18th century and the modern application of the term can be traced to this publication. This is the source of the modern use of the word mentor: a trusted friend, counselor or teacher, usually a more experienced person. Some professions have "mentoring programs" in which newcomers are paired with more experienced people, who advise them and serve as examples as they advance. Schools sometimes offer mentoring programs to new students, or students having difficulties. Today mentors provide expertise to less experienced individuals to help them advance their careers, enhance their education, and build their networks. – An extract from Wikipedia
  41. 41. Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors..
  42. 42. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 10:00 AM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot: Community-Based Mentoring YMP-SNAP 0033 Community-Based Mentoring Many relationships between Bigs and Littles fall under our Community-Based programs. These are one-to-one outings and activities, doing things they enjoy together, like: 1. Taking a walk in the park 2. Going to museum 3. Inspiring each other 4. Listening to music 5. Hanging out and talking Some Bigs meet their Littles on the weekends. Others get together with their Littles in the evenings. Each match is unique and develops a schedule that works for them. Role models make an impact Studies show that children who have role models are more likely to improve in school and in their relationships with family and friends, and less likely to skip school or use illegal drugs or alcohol. Students who are successful in school are less likely to drop out, abuse drugs or commit crimes. In fact, the success of children enrolled in Big Brothers Big Sisters was proven in a nationwide randomized study. – An extract from Big Brothers Big Sisters Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  43. 43. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 3:33 PM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot: Youth Mentors Make a Positive Difference YMP-SNAP 0034 Youth mentors make a positive difference – Jeraux Makata and David McGrath Jeraux and David couldn't be more different. "I am the Pakeha dad, married with three kids and living in a Mt Eden villa and working in an industry where it seems like every second guy drives a Porsche 911," says David, who works in IT Sales for technology vendor Cisco and as their account manager for Telecom Group. "Jeraux is the young Polynesian living in South Auckland with his dad and younger brother. They don't have internet at home and he hasn't seen his mother or sister for seven years because they moved to Australia and he can't afford to fly over there. But I think coming from such different backgrounds is what makes the experience so interesting for both of us." David describes his 17-year-old high school protege as a rock star on the brink of stardom: intelligent, good-looking and charismatic. A prefect at De La Salle College, Jeraux says his dad was always encouraging him to think about his future; David is a neutral sounding board helping him to crystallise what he wants. "I think the most awkward part was meeting Jeraux's dad Mack for the first time, because I imagined he was thinking 'Jeraux already has a dad, so who the hell are you to come around acting like Mr Know-It-All?"' says David. "But Mack is a great guy and after getting to know each other I think he realised I am not arrogant, I am just another voice in Jeraux's life - one who hopefully can bring a useful perspective particularly around university and careers paths and where they can lead." After years working in the banking and IT worlds in New Zealand and Britain, David felt it was time to give back to the community, and to share something of
  44. 44. what he'd learned from his life. When he and Jeraux first met they talked about their favourite hobbies and sports. "It later moved on to highlighting my direction and intentions after leaving school," says Jeraux. "Which uni do I want to attend? What do I want to study? How do I get in? What do I need?" While he's still not entirely certain, Jeraux has applied for degree programmes in architecture and engineering, and says David has opened his eyes to the possibility of IT engineering, something he'd never considered. The pair are also hopeful they can work on a plan to get Jeraux to Australia to visit his mum and sister. Throughout the process they've made time to get to know each other by visiting each other's family and paintball shooting. A month after he started mentoring David discovered his 2-year-old daughter had autism. "It is good to step outside your own life and see the world through someone else's eyes," David says. "It gives you a more balanced and compassionate perspective because it makes you realise there are many people in this world who are hugely talented and full of potential, but life doesn't always give them an even break." – An extract from a NZHerald article on the First Foundation Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  45. 45. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2011 11:43 AM To: 'YL Yee' Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot: Mentoring Performers- Learning to Express Effectively YMP-SNAP 0035 Mentoring Performers – Learning to Express Effectively Awardee Prem making a point at the REF Leadership Camp 2011 There is little more a mentor can do to get the “performer” student – one who is already getting good grades – to work hard. He (or she) is already mindful and taking responsibility for his studies. However, with good grades the student is a prime candidate for a scholarship. Here a mentor can play an important role – preparing the student for the scholarship interview. Many students with excellent grades have faltered at their scholarship interview. The reason for this is that they were poor at expressing themselves clearly. Some that could speak were not equipped with “substance” and were not rounded individuals. Interviewers generally look for a good ability to express thoughts and exposure beyond the technical and examination subjects. An excellent student must have the ability to convince the interviewers that he is the right candidate for the scholarship. What’s required in learning to express clearly and effectively? Opportunities to speak, developing the reading habit and having the right exposure. Encourage your mentee to: § Read widely; beyond school books to e.g. newspapers and current affairs magazines § Participate in discussions; especially at opportunities offered in the REF Leadership Camp, Values Workshop and other seminars/talks, and volunteer to make presentations whenever there is a chance § Participate in school extra-curricular activities and take up positions of leadership § Interact when taking part in Rotary club community service projects
  46. 46. § Speak up during mentoring sessions § Be humble A “performer” must not neglect or avoid learning the above. (Indeed all students, not just performers, must learn them.) In this way, he learns to speak with confidence and substance. We should encourage the student to learn independent, critical and analytical thinking. Then he should also develop the ability to express what is in his mind together with the ability to speak clearly. As his mentor, start encouraging him now, to develop the right habits because filling the mind with “substance” is an on-going process and not something that can happen overnight. Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  47. 47. Sent: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 12:58 PM YMP-SNAP 0036 Whose need are we serving anyway? From “It’s all about me” to “I’m all about it” Child discipline is much about parent discipline. The child learns from the parents by example. It is easy sometimes to lapse into playful indiscipline when spending time with him (or her). For e.g. as a parent, it is fun to feed your young child from your plate. But if you do it, very soon the child will refuse to eat from his/her plate and will only eat from yours. REF Awardee Noriza Bte Kemi (2 nd right) from Carey Island with her family The child absorbs all these signals. Be very disciplined about conveying the right messages all the time. For parents, setting a good example is a discipline that they have to impose on themselves. Ask our self each time we take an action in respect of the child whether we are doing it to fulfill a need of the child or are we doing it to fulfill a need of our own. If it is just for our own need, be very careful. E.g. soon after the child is born, a parent may decide to put a “teddy” bear next to the sleeping baby even before the baby has left the hospital. Is this action to fulfill a need of the child or to fulfill a need of the parent? The interventions and support a mentor can provide are not unlike that of a parent. In the same way, each time we intervene and support the mentee, we should ask our self honestly, “Am I fulfilling a need of the mentee or am I fulfilling one of my own needs?” If the answer is the latter then think again, as this action is likely to stem from selfishness and ego rather than compassion and generosity. Be disciplined about this. Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  48. 48. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 3:31 PM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot: Freedom from Poverty is a Human Right YMP-SNAP 0037 Freedom from poverty is a human right and not a matter of compassion, say UN leaders 10 December 2006 – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights rings hollow to the millions of people around the world who have to struggle in extreme poverty, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today as he called for progress on human development to go hand in hand with advances in security and human rights. Awardee Prem with his father Kavuthaman and family members In a message marking International Human Rights Day, whose theme this year is that fighting poverty should be a matter of obligation and not charity, Mr. Annan said that “if we are to be serious about human rights, we must demonstrate that we are serious about deprivation.” Mr. Annan said the world's poorest are the people least capable of achieving or defending rights – such as to a decent standard of living or to food and essential health care – that others take for granted. “We must all recognize that wherever families eke out an existence, the Declaration has, at best, a hollow ring,” he said. Poverty is both a cause and a product of human rights violations, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said. “We reaffirm that freedom from want is a right, not merely a matter of compassion,” she said. “Fighting poverty is a duty that binds those who govern as surely as their obligation to ensure that all people are able to speak freely, choose their leaders and worship as their conscience guides them.” General Assembly President Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa said, “Being poor makes it harder to find a job and get access to basic services, such as health, education and housing. Poverty is above all about having no power and no
  49. 49. voice.” She added that history is littered with well-meaning but unsuccessful schemes for eradicating poverty, and called for fresh programmes that tackle the root causes, such as discrimination and social exclusion. Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  50. 50. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Thursday, December 29, 2011 1:09 PM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot: Teaching Awareness – The Role of the REF YMP-SNAP 0038 Teaching Awareness – The Role of the REF A child is generally born pristine, emotionally well adjusted and full of self-confidence. Parents may unwittingly erode away his (or her) self-confidence over time and hence affect his emotional well being. The responsibility of parents towards a child is three fold: § Provide the child with a good set of values, § Provide opportunities for the child to discover himself, and § Refrain from eroding his self- confidence. While the conduct of the child, “good” or “bad”, may generally be due to nurturing (or lack thereof) of the parents, yet somewhere between adolescent and adulthood, the individual (child) must learn to stop blaming his parents and start taking responsibility for his actions and for his future. Or in other words, develop the ability to “help himself”. When he decides to make this choice, he matures into an adult. The difference between maturity and immaturity is largely the “awareness” of taking this responsibility. The parents’ role is to support this development through the threefold responsibility mentioned above. While it may be arguable whether the development of this awareness can be hastened, it is certainly possible to hinder it by not providing the appropriate support. Mentoring is an honour, a privilege and a responsibility. Few people get a chance to do it, yet (or because) it only requires volunteering. The interventions and
  51. 51. support a mentor can provide are not unlike that of a parent. And so the main role of the REF is to help the student develop awareness. Besides the awareness of responsibility, through the REF the student will gain awareness of other humanitarian values as well. And in successfully doing so, he turns into a useful adult and a responsible citizen of his community. Over the next eight weeks, the REF Mentoring Snapshot will introduce an important series on “Teaching Awareness”. We hope you will find it both interesting and helpful in your mentoring work. Happy New Year! Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  52. 52. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Thursday, January 05, 2012 11:23 AM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot: To See Clearly and to Do the Right Thing YMP-SNAP 0039 REF Value - Humility “To See Clearly and to Do the Right Thing” (Part 1 of an 8-part series on “Teaching Awareness”) In life we want to “do the right thing”; not just the things that we like. For sometimes the things that we like may not be moral or legal. So it is not enough just to pursue what we are passionate about but to pursue what we are passionate about that is also right. But how do we know what is right? Help your Mentee see clearly It is not enough to speak the truth; we need to also work on being able to see the truth. For far too often, honest people have been cheated, unable to see that others are telling them lies. So we need a compass, a way to judge right and wrong. We need a way to tell truth from lie, a way to see the truth clearly. What is the cause of our inability to see the truth? It is often self-interest. Self- interest obstructs our vision. In order to see the truth clearly we must free our actions (and thoughts) from being tainted by self-interest. Put the well-being of others ahead of us. We can and should still think of self-development and self- improvement but in the context of being better able to help others eventually. The relevant value to cultivate here is Humility (or Selflessness). Through the value of humility, not obstructed by self-interest, we gain the ability to see clearly and we are likely to recognize what is right. Once we know what is right, we can proceed to do what is right. And then trust that passion will be the consequence of doing the right thing and not the other way round. “Do what is right, not just what you like.
  53. 53. If what you like is also what is right, then do it with all your might.” Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  54. 54. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 11:58 AM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot: Awakening to Awareness YMP-SNAP 0040 REF Value - Responsibility Awakening to Awareness (Part 2 of an 8-part series on “Teaching Awareness”) Much of mentorship must focus on the objective of kindling “awareness” in the mentee. In the simplest sense, this means awakening him (or her) to being able to see clearly; and to being the person he should be. This is the basis of a values-based education. Mentees and Mentors at the 2 nd Values Education Workshop on 13Aug2011 at SMK Sri Permata When a child is awakened to awareness he understands to take responsibility for his actions and for his future. He appreciates that his actions come with consequences; that good consequences follow good actions and vice versa. Yet he accepts that his “failures” are not attributable to anyone else or even to his circumstances; that with awareness, failure in fact points the way to success. With awareness, he knows that despite his circumstances he holds the power to change in his own hands. He always has. He appreciates that the only change he has control over is change to himself, starting with the ability to change how he looks at things. And that he cannot control what life throws at him but he can control how he responds to it. Indeed taking control over self is the only control he has and the only control he needs. With control of self, he can “control” or master the world – by taking charge of his own life and by being an example to others. When a person is awakened, he does not blame his parents for not developing the reading habit in him because he was not read to when he was an infant. He just reads now because he knows its “good” for him. He does not blame being born into poverty for not being able to achieve. He just does what it takes to succeed. He takes charge of the change necessary because that’s the “right” thing to do.
  55. 55. “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mohandas Gandhi Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  56. 56. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2012 11:37 AM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot: The Challenge of Awakening YMP-SNAP 0041 REF Value - Honesty The Challenge of Awakening (Part 3 of an 8-part series on “Teaching Awareness”) How do we make a student aware of taking responsibility for his future? Or more importantly; how do we make him aware of the need to be aware? This is the more relevant question as good suggestions, such as get a teacher, commit to it, learn, show up and slow down; are helpful only once the student is awaken to awareness. They are steps to take to “increase” awareness. Mentors in a discussion during an annual REF Mentors Workshop With the awakening to awareness, the student finds his compass and will know to do the right thing with his life. If we have the answer to this question we can then develop an effective programme to help the student. So what is it that crystallizes this initial awareness? When they confront themselves with honesty, most students know that doing well in their studies is important. Yet some do not put the necessary honest hard work into doing so. Even those already doing well can do better. But few are awakened to the fact that they have virtually unlimited potential. Is the moment of awakening fixed for a particular individual regardless of what we do? Is it possible to awaken the student before “his time”? Do we, as “teachers”, wait for the student to be ready before we appear? Is there no way of hastening the awakening to awareness? What is this awakening a function of? Realistically, is the REF able to help the student awaken to his responsibility for himself and thus make a positive difference to his life? Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise
  57. 57. NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  58. 58. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 11:22 AM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot: How Does Obstruction to Learning Arise? Good morning and good new beginning. The Mentoring Snapshot marches on this new lunar year with the article below. We hope you find it interesting. Best wishes, The REF YMP-SNAP 0042 REF Value - Humility How does “Obstruction to Learning” arise? Just talking to or instructing a student on awareness will have limited success in bringing about awareness. “Many young students are not ready to learn about life from their elders, believing that their times are different and therefore their needs are different too,” observes a parent. Students at the REF Leadership Camp 2011 “While they are happy to learn about technical subjects such as mathematics and science, many students believe that older people are disconnected and therefore have little to teach them when it comes to life and values. They do not realize that from time immemorial, good values remain as good values no matter the times we live in,” says a school teacher. The reason for this emergent negative perception by an adolescent is partly due to well-intentioned parents unwittingly filling their child with bad habits and less than desirable values through their own examples. And so, as young as they are, many students are already obstructed by their ego from learning.
  59. 59. “Like this cup, you are also too full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you wisdom unless you first empty your mind?” – Zen master Nan-in Yet, even this drawback may be overcome by the student himself if he is able to develop awareness. Through awareness of the value of humility, not obstructed by self-interest, the student can gain the ability to see clearly and he is likely to recognize what is right. Even if he may have had a difficult upbringing, with awareness, the student will realize doing the right thing for his own good. He can take charge of the change necessary because that’s the “right” thing to do. This is the power of awareness. (The above article is part 4 of an 8-part series on “Teaching Awareness”) Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  60. 60. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2012 12:00 PM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot:Hastening the Awakening YMP-SNAP 0043 REF Value - Compassion Hastening the Awakening How do we make a student aware of taking responsibility for his future? If we have the answer to this key question, we can then develop an effective programme to help the student. Do we, as teachers (or mentors) wait for the student to be ready before we appear? Is there a way of hastening the awakening of the student to awareness? Student Dwayne on the “flying fox” If we take the view that the awakening can be a function of nurture, it means that the awakening depends on the amount of exposure and influence the student gets. Here the REF can play a role in providing experiential learning opportunities and mentoring guidance. In particular providing so to speak, “experiences of compassion” will help to humble a person and open him (or her) to learning. We have heard how the allegorical Zen master teaches by first breaking down the student, “killing” the ego. The student then “surrenders” to the master. Yet just “breaking down” an individual is not the complete answer. The master has to thereafter rebuild the individual or else he will leave the student “broken” and far worse than he started with. Once the ego is killed, the student is found. And then the master, himself without an ego – with compassion and humility – can begin to teach the student who now has a beginner’s mind, i.e. open, empty and ready to be filled with wisdom. “When the ego is killed, the student is ready. When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” (The above article is part 5 of an 8-part series on “Teaching Awareness”)
  61. 61. Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  62. 62. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Wednesday, February 08, 2012 12:06 PM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot: Teaching Awareness YMP-SNAP 0044 REF Value - Self Belief “Teaching Awareness” While some parents may feel that the teaching method of the allegorical Zen master-teacher is too radical for their children, awareness is often crystallized when the student experiences a “personal crisis”. It is in crisis that the ego is set aside, at least momentarily, allowing the individual unobstructed vision, to see things – his life – clearly. EQTD’s Shankar facilitating an activity at the 2011 REF Leadership Camp When this happens, the individual is humbled and effective learning takes place. It is a crisis that forces the student to go inwards, into the very core of his being to ask the question, “who am I?” and to also ask where he is and where he should be heading – “who should I be?” In doing so, the student experiences a realization and becomes “aware of the need to be aware”. Often the crisis can be characterized as a “life-changing” experience. Teaching methods must incorporate this aspect into their experiential learning model to awaken the student to awareness. Such methods incorporate simulated personal crisis exercises in a supervised environment that take the student out of his comfort zone – often creating and overcoming fear – as a method of sharpening awareness resulting in increased self belief. Examples of these exercises include white-water rafting, jungle warfare games, and solo-camping. A well chosen and meaningful community service project can jolt a student out of his comfort zone and bring him to awareness. In all these exercises, the employment of a proper debriefing phase is a very important aspect of the “rebuilding” of the student (and this is often handled poorly in badly designed programmes). Such exercises when well executed are the most effective at hastening the development of awareness. Many high-
  63. 63. intensity sports have the same effect too. That is why besides learning about leadership, participating in sports and other extra-curricular activities are important in the development of young people and in “opening their eyes”. (Part 6 of an 8-part series on “Teaching Awareness”) Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  64. 64. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Friday, February 17, 2012 11:08 AM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot: Discovering Identity, Purpose and Meaning YMP-SNAP 0045 REF Value - Compassion Discovering Identity, Purpose and Meaning The REF helps create awareness in the student that because he lives in an interconnected world, his potential is far greater if he learns to tap into the rest of humanity. And that means thinking beyond self and helping others. Relationships with one another are important. Humanitarian and noble values such as compassion, fairness and care for the environment, help develop quality relationships creating a better world. Students in an activity at the REF leadership camp With the 4-prong holistic programme, the REF aims to help the student achieve the best he can be, helping him reach his full potential. How do we do this? Through a Values-based Education programme. Firstly, we help the student discover who he is. His self identity is defined largely by the values he believes in. We help him understand that with good values he can move through life with confidence, unlocking his potential. Good values will also support the improvement of academic performance. The REF then helps him discover his purpose. Not just any purpose, but a higher purpose anchored on the appreciation of humanitarian values, of thinking beyond self. With a sense of purpose he will have a sense of direction, knowing where he wants to go and what he wants to do with his life. His purpose and his values may evolve and improve with time, as he gains more knowledge and experience but by making a start now, he finds his compass. As he moves through life purposefully, equipped with good values, he finds meaning helping others. And so the aim of a Values-based holistic Education Programme is to
  65. 65. help the student discover identity, purpose and meaning. With a belief system based on humanitarian values, as the student is striving to achieve his potential, he is aware that it is also his responsibility to help others achieve theirs too, giving value and meaning not just to his own life but to the lives of others as well – creating a better world. (Part 7 of an 8-part series on “Teaching Awareness”) Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  66. 66. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 3:40 PM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot: As Mentor, You are Key Dear Mentor/Friend, With this week’s consignment of the Mentoring Snapshot below, we finish the 8-part series on the important role of the REF in “teaching awareness” to the awardees/mentees. In particular, your role as a mentor is key to ensuring the success of the REF programme. We hope that you found the series both interesting and helpful for your mentoring work. REF YMP-SNAP 0046 As Mentor, You are Key As Mentor you hold one of the most important keys to the successful future of your Mentee, to unlocking his (or her) potential. Yet with a casual attitude towards the task, this can amount to nothing or worse still, damaging the emotional well-being of your charge. Awardee Lenard with Mentors Graham and Poay Lim Mentoring is an honour, a privilege and a responsibility. Few people get a chance to do it, yet (or because) it only requires volunteering. Never forget that as an example of a “successful person” and a role model coming into the life of your Mentee, you wield enormous power to change him either for the better or for the worse. One of the things you must do is to equip yourself properly for the task. Understand your role and the goals of the mentorship. Understand your limitations. Know the tools available at your disposal. With all these, you can make an impact. But the greatest impact will come from your attitude towards the task. Your habits are important. You are being watched not by the REF, but most importantly by your Mentee. Your Mentee will learn from you
  67. 67. through example, some of the values that he will adopt for his life. If you are punctual, he will think that punctuality is important. If you care, he will think that caring is necessary to be successful. If you are committed, he will think commitment is a virtue. As mentor, you also play the important role of following up with the mentee after the “life-changing” experiences of the REF leadership camp and the REF values education workshop. Without follow-up, these catalytic experiences would at best be a temporary inspiration that lasts not more than a few days. Sustained reinforcement by mentors is what will set the REF apart from other one-off motivational programmes. Most of all as a mentor, you are like the allegorical Zen master-teacher. Just as the mentee must enter the relationship with the profound humility of the novice seeking wisdom, the mentor too must enter with the even profounder humility of the sage who knows how truly little he or she knows. When one teaches, two learn. Nobody wants to follow someone who is arrogant. When you are humble, you become genuinely interested in people because you want to learn from them. And because you want to learn and grow, you will be a far more effective listener. “Listening” is the #1 mentorship communication tool. When people sense you are genuinely interested in them, and listening to them, they will naturally be interested in you and listen to what you have to say. The process of mentoring someone is not about the mentor - it is about the student. Give this task serious thought. Approach it with awareness and spontaneity; and see how, with your precious time, you can teach your mentee the values necessary to make a positive difference to his life. You are key. (Part 8 of an 8-part series on “Teaching Awareness”) Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  68. 68. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 2:27 PM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot: Youth mentors make a positive difference YMP-SNAP 0047 Youth mentors make a positive difference – Hazel Tafa and Margaret Morgan Hazel Tafa, 17 remembers the confusion she felt when she was told she had two mothers, and that the people she'd thought were her parents were actually her grandparents. Growing up in her brother's shadow with her biological mum and step-mum, she became rebellious, and when her grandfather passed away it drove her "to the wrong side of life". But when her brother went off the rails too, she decided to turn things around. The McAuley High School student now dedicates all her achievements to her family. She's determined to get into the University of Auckland to study accounting, and law further down the track. Her dream is to become a judge. Despite her determination, she confesses to feeling a bit unsure when she met her mentor, Margaret Morgan, who runs her own company, Triangle Recruitment. "She had a serious facial expression. I thought, 'Oh no, she must be real strict and bossy'." But they were soon at ease in each other's company when they discovered they both love rugby and netball, and laughed at the same things. Even so, Margaret says it's not important to share a lot in common. "We are all human and want similar things out of life." Her experience helping recruitment candidates progress their careers made the decision to become a mentor a natural step. And it's paying off. Hazel says she now thinks of Margaret as her "best friend, mother and sister combined" and that Margaret has helped to keep her on track not just with her studies but by providing access to contacts. She has even introduced Hazel to her sister, a
  69. 69. commercial lawyer who studied at Otago. As a result, Hazel's resolve to get a university education has increased. "It is a huge honour to receive a scholarship and sometimes I think it takes some time to fully appreciate it," says Margaret. "She has worked hard for it and is thoroughly deserving of it." The mentoring process has allowed Hazel to trust someone outside the family, and that has pushed her out of her comfort zone. "With two mothers in my life it's sometimes difficult to decide who to listen to. So just having Margaret around giving me the best advice makes a huge difference. "No offence, but I never thought [one] day I would be opening up and turning to a white woman. From a Samoan perspective, working with a white woman changes everything, you just get real excited and want to show her off to the rest of your Samoan family and friends." – An extract from a NZHerald article on the First Foundation Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.
  70. 70. From: YL Yee [mailto:ylyee@pc.jaring.my] Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2012 11:28 AM To: ylyee@pc.jaring.my Subject: REF Mentoring Snapshot: Empathy vs. Sympathy - The Big Difference YMP-SNAP 0048 Empathy vs. Sympathy – The Big Difference Awardee Siti Nor Halimah with her mother and siblings Here is an important distinction that can help us improve our people skills and make a positive difference in mentoring our student. Empathy: the ability to understand, perceive and feel another person’s feelings. Sympathy: the tendency to help others in order to prevent or alleviate their suffering. These are not exact dictionary definitions but they are practical definitions that will serve to help us understand the difference and to emphasize some key aspects. 1) Empathy is always good, sympathy is contextually good. Understanding the feelings of other people means to access very precious information which we can use in multiple ways. However, feeling the need to help others is something which from one case to another can be good or bad. Sometimes it can mean honor and building bridges, sometimes it can mean lying, being fake, sacrificing our own needs, not letting others learn on their own and other pointless people-pleasing behaviors. 2) We can have one, without the other. This is the most important part. We can have sympathy with only a vague understanding of the other person’s feelings. We can also understand exactly how bad a person feels and still be capable of not helping her. We can be a highly empathic person and still have our freedom to act in the
  71. 71. ways we think are best, whether they involve helping others or not. We can have empathy and have options at the same time. Why is this distinction important? It’s important because when it comes to people skills, many believe that the ability to be empathic and the tendency to have sympathy are the same thing. This is incorrect. As a mentor of a student from the lower income group, we may feel empathy for our mentee because of his (or her) challenging circumstances but we may not be helping him by feeling sympathy and taking him to fancy restaurants for meals just because his family cannot afford to do so. When we have a good understanding of the fact that empathy and sympathy are related phenomena but they go in separate boxes, we can learn to have empathy without always having sympathy, and we take our mentoring (and people) skills to the next level. (Reference – www.peopleskillsdecoded.com) Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise NB: To help define our approach and to provide good mentoring to our students, the REF from time to time provides short write-ups on its programme. These 5-minute “snapshots” are also shared with friends of REF who may not be mentors.

×