Face To Face: Discover How Mentoring Can Change Your Life, by Jayme Hull with Laura Captari
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Moody Publishers. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
On the face of it, this book has nothing (except perhaps the fact that both authors are women) to suggest that this is a book that is focused on mentoring for women. Yet although the subject of mentoring is of interest for both men and women , this book relentlessly focuses on mentoring for women. As is frequently the case with a book like this, written by women for women, although not necessarily about women, I am left to wonder why a book that has a subject matter that is perfectly worthwhile for both men and women should be treated in such a misguided fashion as if the subject matter was only of interest to women. Is it simply that many women simply do not know nor do not want to know what it takes to write something that is of use and benefit to men who read, or is it simply assumed that men do not read? Whatever is the case, this book is a huge missed opportunity to write a book of general interest and ends up being only one of far too many books that are aimed solely at female readers.
In terms of its contents, the book seeks to appeal to women to serve as mentors for others and seek mentors for themselves frequently by the use of biblical stories. The book as a whole is divided into four sections with three chapters apiece, that total less than 200 pages. The first section looks at the adventure of mentoring, viewing it as an invitation to a journey where a great deal of influence can be provided. The second section of the book looks at how one connects with a mentor and asks the awkward question to someone about being a mentor. The third section looks at how the mentor and the person being mentored grow together through navigating conflict and finding balance and sharing insights and experiences. The fourth and final section looks at how one lives authentically, even in the face of feeling as if life is not moving forward, where relationships are hard to find, and where one feels stuck in place. After this there is a brief discussion on how to pass along mentoring insights to someone else, where someone who has been mentored becomes a mentor to others themselves.
Again, there is nothing in this book that ought to be specific to women. Men move around a fair amount as well in search of better opportunities in life and certainly at least a few men remain single (and unhappily so) for a long time and tend to feel as if life isn’t going anywhere for them. Be that as it may, this book invites a question it never seems to acknowledge, and that is that it may not be necessary to have a formal conversation about becoming a mentor. If you see that someone has a certain character and insight that one wishes to learn from, one can simply get to know them and become a friend and whether or not one brings up the question of mentoring, one can see their lives in action and develop trust over time. This book and its authors seem to be of the opinion that one needs to have an explicit conversation about mentoring and that it has to be openly sought by one person and openly agreed to by another. Some people would simply prefer to enjoy mentoring without the drama of needing to put a label on it, but I suppose that is the subject of another book for another time.
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