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Crucial Mentoring Conversations (2017)

Mentoring nourishes others to grow and act with greater confidence.

The need for mentorship is greater than ever before.
However, informal mentoring has not kept up with the challenges in business. In his latest book on mentoring, Niël Steinmann, South Africa’s leading authority on mentorship, suggests a structured and intentional approach to mentoring called crucial mentoring conversations. He explains: ‘Our success in life is dictated by the quality of relationships we can build and maintain’. Parents, teachers and leaders from any professional or educational setting or career now have the tools to successfully navigate mentoring relationships.

The book is rich with advice and explores the various conversations crucial for successful mentoring relationships. You will be equipped to hold deeper more honest conversations that create new levels of self-awareness and opportunities for those that you mentor to transform situations and relationships around them. It gives the mentor practical tools to facilitate this awareness and learning in ways that enrich, challenge, inspire and enable mentees to learn about themselves and their world.

Endorsed by:

The value of effective mentoring in the complex and highly competitive world we are living in is undisputable. In fact, when it comes to personal development, professional mentoring is a key success factor. In my capacity as a privileged mentor and coach myself, I found Niël Steinmann’s perspectives, insights and advice on crucial mentoring conversations most relevant and valuable. His book outlines all the fundamentals of effective mentoring in a thought provoking yet practical manner. I derived a lot of value from it, and therefore endorse it with confidence.
- Brand Pretorius, former Managing Director of Toyota SA Marketing and retired CEO of McCarthy Limited, currently a non-executive director of a number of listed companies

A totally refreshing and insightful approach to mentoring. The title of Crucial Mentoring Conversations is somewhat daunting at first glance, but once you get into the book you are met with a practical toolbox of how that can be done; it demystifies mentoring in unprecedented ways. This is one book that will be my reference point for years to come on my mentoring journeys. It is an excellent read and well put together.
- Lorato Mogaki, Head HRD & Transformation Anglo Platinum

If you think you understand how to be an effective mentor, read again. Crucial Mentoring Conversations is the most comprehensive and engaging book on mentoring I’ve ever experienced. Niël Steinmann’s circle of eight essential questions—from Purpose to Performance—comes with a template that works for all of them, plus thought-provoking examples that work for each of them. I’ve been mentoring for years. I’ll be mentoring differently because of Steinmann’s actionable insights.
- Tom Pierce, President Pierce Management Development, Washington, D.C.

As the CEO of Deloitte Consulting in Southern Africa, I asked Niël to assist with an intervention
to ensure there was synergy in the leadership team. Little did I realise that the success we achieved as a team was as a result of the conversations and questions we started asking ourselves with Niël’s gentle prompting. In this book on mentorship, in his own style Niël expands on the life and business altering questions that have to be asked. Only after reading his insightful book did I realise that Niël was using mentoring conversations to drive personal leadership development, which directly contributed to the achievement of our collective BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) as a team and individually. I see enormous value in using this practical guide – for leaders to shape conversations with those they want to inspire and develop, and for those who are looking for ways to formalise discussions with people they want to learn from.
- Louis Geeringh, Group Chief Executive Officer Capitalworks Investment Partners (Pty) Limited

This book provides great insights shared by Niël who has been instrumental in spearheading the start of many successful mentoring relationships amongst senior and executive leaders. For those who may still be skeptical or hesitant about stepping into a mentoring relationship, possibly due to uncertainty about how to take the relationship forward or hold a meaningful and constructive conversation with a mentee, this step-by-step crucial conversation process serves as a useful guide for navigating the mentoring relationship.
- Robert Goff, Chief Executive: Human Resources Sanlam Personal Finance

I can truly state that in my 27 years as a Human Resources professional, I’ve never come across a book with so much insight into what it really means to be a mentor who can influence or play a significant role in someone’s life, be it on a personal or business level. This is a remarkable and must read for all managers/leaders out there who want to make this world a better place for all, especially in the workplace.
- Stephen de Beer, Human Resources Executive Forever Resorts SA

I have had the pleasure of working with Niël since 2004 and have yet to find someone as passionate and intentional about mentorship. This is a handy go-to guide for mentors, which provides tools, crucial conversation guides and talent perspectives that are appropriate and practical. I recommend it for all corporate leaders who want to bring meaning to their individual and corporate purpose.
- Celeste Bennett, Talent and Development Manager Engen

What I found in this powerful resource is a practical structure for crucial and often uncomfortable conversations, which leaves room for choice with regard to approach and interpretation, whilst it is clear about intentionality and accountability. Its core value lies in the wisdom that Niël has co-created with individuals and teams over many years of intense and successful work as a mentor, facilitator and enabler of transformation.
- Dr. Salome van Coller-Peter, Team Coach and Learning Facilitator

Niël’s first book, Raising Giant Killers, changed the way I viewed mentoring and ignited a passion in me to mentor young engineers. Crucial Mentoring Conversations is an excellent addition to Niël’s work in this area. It focuses on the most challenging component of mentoring, i.e. creating an authentic relationship built on a foundation of trust. The most challenging aspect of mentoring millennials is the ability to build and maintain an authentic relationship. Niël’s book presents an excellent tool set to enable real conversations between mentor and mentee.
- Keith Johnston, Engineering Systems Manager Chevron, Houston, TX

Niël has been closely involved with our organisation for a number of years, implementing mentoring solutions across different organisational levels of work. We have successfully implemented Niël’s framework of crucial conversations with mentors, mentees and leadership teams in various contexts of talent development. Crucial Mentoring Conversations is an easy read and a practical handbook filled with helpful tools and ample reference notes. This book will most definitely enable honest and courageous conversations in both personal and professional relationships!
- Colette Wessels, HR Director Imperial Health Sciences

Excellent! A wealth of knowledge, insights and practical tips. This book is a must read for all leaders and managers who are dedicated to building a high performance culture. Anyone with a passion to help colleagues reach their potential will benefit from this book.
- Anja van Beek, VP People Africa Middle East, Asia & Australia, People Function Sage

Niël’s book is an invaluable tool, providing helpful guidelines to generate the in-depth and meaningful conversations that are most likely to result in rich learning experiences for both mentors and mentees.
- Estelle Coetzer, Industrial & Organisational Psychologist GreyQ Consulting

Niël Steinman has once again distinguished himself as an author, successfully encapsulating a comprehensive approach towards mentoring. His approach is practical, different, powerful and unique.
- Peter van der Linde, Vice President, Retail Operations Mark’s, Calgary, Canada

Raising Giant Killers (2006)

Niël Steinmann's unique book draws on the life of the lioness, the queen of the African bush. "Raising giant killers" shares the wonderful analogy of the lioness and how she prepares for and raises her cubs in an extremely harsh and ruthless world. Her ability to make time, care for, nurture, protect, teach, expose, and eventually wean her cubs to become "giant killers" is truly remarkable.

The survival and competence of her cubs represent success in the fascinating life-cycle of nature - ultimately their success ensures the future and sustainability of the pride.

This powerful analogy of "Raising giant killers" not only offer significant points to ponder on mentorship but also an opportunity to explore and understand the fundamentals of mentoring in a growing relationship. Creating mentoring success depends on the intentional role the mentor needs to play. The book provides this and so much more!

Raising giant killers - is a must read book for prospective and seasoned mentors, but also managers, business leaders, parents, and teachers- Anyone involved and tasked with the privilege of developing others, building their confidence, nurturing talent and growing leadership potential.

Endorsed by:

Ken Blanchard
Prominent, sought-after author, speaker, and business consultant.