Sharing Wisdom

Buy it now

Front Cover for Sharing Wisdom

Sharing Wisdom

The Practical Art of Giving and Receiving Mentoring

Robert J. Wickes shares 40 key insights for deepening one of life’s most rewarding experiences—the gift of mentorship. Find out how you can create a safe, encouraging, and inspiring atmosphere in the conversations and relationships that matter most.

As caring adults we provide and receive informal mentoring every day. At the workplace, at school, and at home we are constantly called on to give guidance or to accept it. Sharing Wisdom offers us the opportunity to make the most of these natural encounters and to strengthen our ability to help others effectively.

Practical suggestions and clarifying principles will enrich the repertoire of therapists, guidance counselors, teachers, spiritual directors, parents, and anyone who desires to grow and to help those around her grow too.

Reviews and endorsements

"The American Heritage Dictionary defines mentor as a noun meaning 'a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.' It does not list the word as a verb, yet it has entered our vocabulary. For Robert Wicks the word means what the title of his book states, 'sharing wisdom.'

The author notes in the Introduction: 'Mentoring, the sharing of wisdom, is a beautiful part of adult life. We see this in the help provided by A.A. sponsors, experienced teachers, business executives, office managers, parents, clergy, and so many people in both formal and informal relationships.' In this volume Wicks encourages the reader 'to enter more deeply into this form of relationship.'

In short chapters he presents forty lessons for mentoring, for sharing wisdom. Some lessons are basic to any healthy relationship, such as being respectful of others, letting people tell their stories, and being patient with others. Others deal more formally with this particular form of relationship, such as what to do when the mentor feels overwhelmed by a story told or a question asked by the person seeking mentoring.

This is a book of wise counsel by one who has sought to practice what he preaches. Though the author admits that he has not always done that, the reader can see that Wicks has learned much as he invites others to learn from his experiences.

People in many walks of life will find this work a welcome way to reflect on something they often are already doing. I think parents, especially those with teenagers, will find this a very welcome guide, because mentoring is what their role is at this stage of their children’s life. Grandparents may also find that they exercise this role with their grandchildren.

The book contains helpful appendices. One deals with 'Answers to Common Questions on Mentoring,' another with 'Readings to Enrich the Mentoring Process: An Annotated Bibliography.' We can be grateful that a seasoned mentor like Robert Wicks has shared his wisdom with us.
Arthur Byrene, Liguorian Magazine

,

"The psychologist, Robert Wicks, urges us to recognize our responsibility to exercise mentoring, a time-honored process that occurs within our ongoing relationships. Through mentoring, whether it is informal or intentional, we share the wisdom we have gained from our experiences and we seek insights from others. The aim of Wicks’s book is to provide helps by which we can mentor with greater intentionality and information that enhances what we already know. He also outlines characteristics to look for in a mentor when we are seeking one. Near the end of the book, he presents frequently asked questions and his answers: a list that summarizes his mentoring guidelines, and a short annotated bibliography.

Wicks himself serves as a mentor through his book, a modified handbook that gives guiding principles and examples to ground his wisdom in concrete situations. A sampling of what he calls his mentoring lessons includes the following: 'Offer a receptive listening space where people can tell their stories.' 'In every situation help people look carefully for what is within their control.' 'After experiencing someone’s strong emotion, take a step back and offer this logical problem-solving approach: ventilation, diagnosis, planning, intervention, and letting go.' The mentoring lessons, along with a brief discussion of each one, serve Wicks’s intention to help us articulate our own wisdom, more consciously share it with others, and be more open to receive insights from others. His discussion can also help us to mentor ourselves through reflective living and an appreciation of ourselves.

While the book can serve any adult, it might be of particular interest to persons involved in relationships that offer possibilities for mentoring: friends, parents, teachers, people in pastoring roles in parishes and businesses, and participants in Alcoholics Anonymous. In our mentoring service to others, Wicks sees that through this process we can experience one of life's most rewarding activities: 'the imparting and receiving of life's wisdom.' (17)
—Mary Reuter O.S.B., Saint Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, Minnesota

,

"In our ever-changing society, one constant is that communication is critical to interpersonal relationships of all kinds. Here is a nice little book that draws out the basic blueprint for a mentorship, one which respects the responsibility implied by the very word 'mentoring' but which also recognizes the wonderful reciprocal rhythm of mentoring. As we give we receive; as we are receiving we are giving. Covering some very fundamental concepts and practices, the author outlines how we can be more effective on either side of a mentoring role. Wicks offers his own experience along this path in a helpful way, sharing various breakthroughs brought about by misunderstandings or judgment. Each chapter expounds on one or two words, such as Safety, Distance, Reflection, Humor, Little Jolt. Using his words well and weaving a pattern of effectiveness, Wicks manages to translate a very complicated process into a totally manageable experience. This will be a good adjunct to any more weighty work in the arena of improving communication, and its small size will make it easy to have on hand for reference." 
—NAPRA Review


“A commonsense approach . . . that shows us all the benefits of reaching out to help someone else.”
—Joseph M. Hoeffel, congressman of the United States House of Representatives

,

“The finest detailed handbook I know for . . . how to deal humanly with all manners of people.”
—Walter J. Burghart, S.J. Woodstock Theological Center

,

“A wonderfully revealing and useful book for managers and other supervisors.”
Carole O’Keefe, senior vice president, Glencoe/McGraw Hill

9780824518387
Paperback / 144 pages
Dimensions: 5 3/8 x 8 1/4
CROSSROAD, 2000