Sharing libraries in both directions is a really helpful way to gain from a mentoring relationship. Somewhere early in the relationship, each party should share which books, tapes, videos, podcasts, etc. have been most helpful and why.
If the mentor or protégé has certain materials that have been highly influential in his or her past, it would be great information for the other person to experience as well.
In my case, I have a list of the most influential books I have read in my career, and I have color-coded the list so that the most useful ones are easily seen. I also have my own video material available on Youtube for free, so people can browse my library of content with ease.
My website, www.leadergrow.com has an index of most of the articles I have ever written, and my blog www.thetrustambassador.com has most of them as well. The idea is to be willing to share content openly rather than trying to horde the most valuable information.
The only limitation to the philosophy is the amount of time the other person has to browse through your content. That is why it is important to make things as easy to find as possible. Let me share an example:
One area where I have done a lot of research is body language. I ended up writing a series of 100 articles on various aspects of body language. Few people would have the time or patience to read through all 100 articles, so in the final article, I provided an index that contains the titles of all 100 articles. This way, an individual can scan the titles and quickly pick out items of highest interest.
I did the same thing with two video series. I did one on Building Higher Trust and another on Reducing Conflict. Each video series has 30 videos of just three minutes each, so people can look at the most important concepts. I have followed up with a blog series that describes the key learning from each video along with a link to it.
Each original series was intended to be watched one day at a time for 30 days. In that way, the material is metered out over a long enough period for the material to sink in deeply.
The point is to make your body of knowledge (both your own and influential writings from others) available to the other half of your mentoring relationship. In doing that you will be contributing volumes of useful information to the other person.
Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust. He is the author of: The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals, Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind, and Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational Change. Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations.