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Managers as Mentors, 3rd Edition by Marshall Goldsmith, Chip R. Bell

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8Inside the Mind of the Protégé

When Fear and Learning Collide

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.

Robert Frost

Fear is as personal as a fingerprint. We have a daredevil friend whose idea of a fun Saturday afternoon is to bungee jump off a bridge or skydive from a helicopter. The thought of either makes us break out in a cold sweat. What frightens one person is another person’s playground.

Understanding the protégé’s emotional state, particularly at the start of the relationship, is an essential first step of creating an atmosphere of acceptance and trust. Keep in mind that fear is far more a liability than an asset where learning is involved. A testing, contentious learning ...

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