Use Mental Imagery and Visualisation in Mentoring
A Powerful Set of Tools for Effective Communication
You can enhance your ability to mentor others by utilising mental imagery and visualisation.
Our brains, when tasked with mental imagery and visualisation, can create a powerful tool for us in a number of different ways. I have used this technique, when working with hockey officials, in order to enhance their on-ice performance or to address some performance issues that they may have encountered.
Use mentoring as part of your leadership growth arsenal
I have also used this very same technique when mentoring people and preparing them for job interviews. I recall working with a person who had not been interviewed in over 19 years and who was petrified about the whole interview process.
We visualised the interview and being asked a number of questions and we visualised being able to respond to those questions with confidence. This person was scheduled for two interviews on two separate days. In the first interview, confidence soared and so did the comfort level with being interviewed. The second interview was as much a success and a job offer followed!
That was just one example of how mental imagery and visualisation has been used as part of the mentoring process.
By visualising meetings and potential questions and responses, you can train yourself to better think on your feet and be able to respond to conversations quickly.
In the work that I do, when mentoring people who are involved in high level meetings, where stress can sometimes be a factor, the need to mentally prepare for these meetings is crucial. Visualising the meeting and what might be some of the questions is the technique to use.
I recall working with young relationship managers who were meeting with very senior people on an ongoing basis. Being mentally prepared for these meetings was key to their ability to function at that level. Visualising the meetings and the questions coupled with potential responses ensured that they had confidence going into the meeting and were credible in those meetings.
It is all about listening and hearing, listening for trigger words in the conversation, listening for deflections and being able to think on the fly while the conversation is going on.
We use this technique when we talk about effective communication. By visualising meetings and potential questions and responses, you can train yourself to better think on your feet and be able to respond to conversations quickly. It is a way to enhance your critical thinking skills and the responses that come from that. Add to that, the reflective process both forward and back, and you have a dynamic set of tools for effective communication and your mentoring tool kit.
Effective communication is one of the corner stones of the effective mentoring process.
It is all about listening and hearing, listening for trigger words in the conversation, listening for deflections and being able to think on the fly while the conversation is going on. Mental imagery and visualisation help you prepare to mentor in that type of environment.
When you have momentum in a conversation, the last thing you want is to not be able to ask the questions required to guide someone to the answer. I have found this technique to be great for the mentoring that I do on a daily basis as it has fine-tuned my effective communication skills and made me a better listener.
Mental imagery and visualisation are techniques that we need to practise on an ongoing basis. The more you do, the more comfortable and skilled you become at using the technique. Enhance your ability to mentor and utilise mental imagery and visualisation.
Embrace the power of mentoring!
- Psychology Today’s blog article, Tips for Creating Positive Mental Imagery
- The article, A Role for Imagery in Mentoring by Sarah Fletcher, University of Bath, UK.
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