When Learners Teach and Teachers Learn

January is National  Mentoring Month – the perfect time to propose brain based mentoring as a tool to reboot minds for challenges in the coming year!

Have you ever tossed innovative ideas back and forth – much like an enjoyable game of catch – moves the ball from one player to the next?

Here at the Mita International Brain Center – brain based mentoring is called mind-guiding, and it has mentees teaching at times, and mentors learning at times? See how this unique form of mutual mentoring ignites seasoned experts’ minds and at the same time inspires novice explorers? Yes, regardless of age, developmental level, or topic …

Brain-Based Mutual Mentoring

Brain-Based Mutual Mentoring

In contrast to the mojo engaged participants enjoy, have you watched both sides lose interest when only experts deliver. Or have you observed the bored faces in any gathering where leaders dominate in ways that ignore opportunities to explore, discover, discuss and co-lead one’s own learning? It doesn’t have to be that way.

Learners and leaders come alive whenever they engage in interesting new ideas together in ways that transform and benefit them both. You could say it’s a strength based process that builds on strengths of mentors at one time and on the strengths of mentees at another.

Exploring the Unlikely to Find the Brilliant!

Does your Chain-of-command Limit Discoveries?

Mentoring failed me early as my dad lacked skills to engage us, 2 brothers committed suicide and I ended up on Barrington Street, in downtown Halifax Nova Scotia at 14.

Alone, penniless, no place to sleep – my journey away from typical chains-of-command began with stark realities. It also enabled me to learn by teaching others at the same time.

If you’ve benefited from people smarter than you, you’ve likely bypassed expert-heavy-mentoring – and have mind-guided at its explorer best.

Mindguiding across age

From an early age I taught others in order to learn myself – and that explorer practice shaped a life’s work in a unique kind of mutual mentoring.

I call it mind-guiding. Back then it seemed more about survival. Today research shows that we retain 90% by teaching others at the same time we are learning a thing.

Innovators find inspiration in teaching new ideas to experts, and experts collaborate to return frequently to the energized role of explorer. At Bittner school of Business, MBA students end leadership classes with a Mind-guided Celebration of Innovation, where they engage the wider community in  newly designed recommendations for their field.

In diverse community exchanges, folks shift from expert to collaborate as explorers. People of all ages, genders, backgrounds, positions or experiences can discover brilliance together.

If you are not running along possibility edges – you are probably stuck in problem ditches.

See potential to replace broken practices or spark rejuvenation where you work?

Brains Equip you for Mind-guiding 

Mindguiding across Cultures

See how brains equip mind-guiding by engaging both right and left hemisphere to solve real problems.

Mind-guides use more working memory, a unique area of the brain where we cultivate new possibilities. Working positions new information up front, so both sides of the brain can use it to build refreshing outcomes.

This reciprocal approach relies less on the basal ganglia – or mental storehouse of routines.

No wonder mind-guides keeps intelligence fluid. No wonder they raise personal and collective  IQ across a wider range of capabilities.

Not a bad return for a fresh new practice.

 Crave Innovation?

How could you ignite innovation and energize your community to raise collective intelligence individually and institutionally? Novelty’s  easier than you may think, if you tackle discovery with a What if… attitude.

What if you mindguided today?

I mind-guided with Andy Anderson in Canada when he hoped to publish research for a promotion, and I wanted more physical activity. While I’m not LPGA material,  I’ve won golf tournaments since, and Andy learned how neuro-discoveries positively affect movement. Together we published a research article in JOPERD.

Capitalize on Differences

How could mind-guiding help you shift from expert back to being an explorer?

Top Ten Mind-guiding Principles – from Neuro Discoveries

1. Skilled facilitators actively lead across diversity from behind. Did you know that to teach others at the same time you learn, is to retain 90% more?

2. Contributions are sought across differences in rank and skill levels. Are you aware the brain uses diversity to move us past gridlock and compromise?

3. For each problem raised there is a doable solution proposed. The brain is equipped to design solutions as an innovative response to stubborn problems.

4. Veterans and novices mutually mentor one another for shared benefits.  Have you ever noticed the brain’s ability to stoke insights in reciprocal or mind-guided exchanges?

5. Intrapersonal evaluations increase reflection and may topple certain traditions. Have you seen people replace popular practices hold back collective IQ for innovation in any organization?

6. Laughter is more at self and mind-guided humor benefits all concerned. Have you seen folks focus more than most mentorships – on spreading serotonin the brain’s chemical of wellbeing to stoke new ideas across differences.

7. Innovations are scaled and regularly rewarded as a way to sustain innovative settings. Have you considered the marks of a brain-powered setting in your organization?

8. Participants all help to shape an ethical mind-guiding process. Did you know that a brain on ethics re-configures itself for a new kind of growth?

9. Progress is tracked individually and institutionally, in ways that make change easier.  Are you aware of how the brain enhances wonders of useful change?

10. Final decisions are made with all mind-guides’ participation. Did you know that the brain uses novelty new era outcomes, when people share in decision-making.  In contrast trust is lost if one leader makes unilateral decisions that ignore mind-guides’ perspectives.

See mentor and mentee opportunities to mind-guide with the brain in mind at my TPT site. There find ready-to-roll materials for leaders and learners who crave quality by learning and leading with their unique strengths!

Related tool: Yearly planner with brain boosters and prompts to reboot your brain so that you tap and develop hidden and unused capabilities.

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