Skillsoft Blog

Mentoring Like The Star Wars Jedi Masters

Ann_cantrellBy Ann Cantrell

“In my experience, there’s no such thing as luck.” -Obi Wan Kenobi, A New Hope

Everyone needs an Obi-Wan Kenobi in their lives. Someone with experience and wisdom. To serve as a guide through the learning process. You may have access to the best content at your fingertips, but unless you are able to effectively apply new knowledge it is of little value to you. After you walk out of a classroom or conclude an eLearning module, then what? How do you make a connection between what you have learned and how to actually use it?

“Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.”  – Master Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back

Thankfully your organization’s leaders will be a bit less strict than Star Wars Jedi. (We hope?) A healthy learning culture fosters safe environments where employees can practice their new skills with mentors, cohort groups, or communities of practice.

“You will find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi, Return of the Jedi

By extending your learning experience beyond the classroom or eLearning course you allow your perspective to broaden. Networking with others who have varying experiences can open your eyes to a myriad of lessons learned and best practices.

How can you become a more effective mentor? There are a countless resources available on the subject. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Skillsoft eLearning Course Series: Essential Mentoring Techniques
  • Becoming an Effective Mentoring Leader: Proven Strategies for Building Excellence in Your Organization By: William J. Rothwell, Peter Chee
  • How to Say Anything to Anyone: A Guide to Building Business Relationships That Really Work By: Shari Harley

Finally, remember that anyone can serve as a mentor.

“You underestimate my power.” – Anakin Skywalker, Revenge of the Sith

Even if you are relatively new to a new role or young in your career, you have experience and insight that could be of value to your colleagues. Learning how to communicate your story to others will be an important first step in becoming an effective mentor.

May the Force be with you!

Ann Cantrell is a customer success consultant at Skillsoft.

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