Great mentors have impeccable ethics. And, my greatest mentor, Ray Bell, taught me the most important lesson of all: teaching is an ethical act! Effective mentors, trainers and change agents must be clean in their learner-dealings, not false, manipulative, or greedy. Competent mentors must be honest and congruent in their communications and actions. They must not steal their learners’ opportunities for struggle or moments of glory. Great mentors refrain from coveting their learners’ talents or falsifying their own. They must honor the learner just as they honor the process of mutual learning.
Finally, Ray Bell was all about love. And, it infused his mentoring relationship. When former students of his spoke of their fond memories, it was clear they were speaking of someone they loved…and, of one who loved in return. Dr. Malcolm Knowles taught me that a really good teacher, mentor or trainer must first and foremost love the learning.
Ray Bell taught an even greater lesson: a great teacher, mentor or trainer must first and last love the learner!