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Experience Designers.

Mentoring Magic & Transformative Experiences

This past week I was honored to be one of the keynote speakers at the international Mentoring Association bi-annual summit in Charlotte, North Carolina. President, Lisa Fain, and her excellent team rolled out the red carpet for all participants and nurtured an amazing environment of inspiration, mentor-protégé magic, and genuine collegiality.

In workshop sessions and meeting people on the informal in-betweens… I was enchanted with the members, the expertise, and the genuine will from everyone to make the world a better place. After all, what more could you expect from a mentoring conference than to encounter people intent on the compassionate helping of others?

For my part, my work in Experience Design Leadership translated into “Experience Design Mentorship.”  Casting the mentor-protégé dynamic as a co-created experience to the benefit of both is a powerful recipe for success. In my book, Designing Transformative Experiences, I detail how an experience cannot truly be transformational unless it results in an identity change. That is, a change in our sense of self… Who we think we are or who we aspire to become. That is what mentoring is all about – a change of self at the professional, social, and personal level for mentor and mentee alike.  And as we all look at our career trajectory’s today -- whether we are early, middle, or late career -- we can see that we are not doctors, corporate leaders, educators, programmers, creatives, lawyers, or anything at all, without having had the help of others as guides along the way.

So inspired was I by this fantastic, professional organization, that I am now spearheading relationships between the International Mentoring Association at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where I am home-based.  I can feel the potential energy burbling to the surface for what these organizations might accomplish together when we re-cast our role as educators in academia to that of mentors who are designing life-changing experiences for our learners.  So thank you, Lisa and everyone at IMA for a wonderful experience, and I look forward to our new collaborations as a result!

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