We already debunked the idea that men aren’t readers, or won’t read the required books for a Radical Mentoring group. Along the same lines, mentors often ask if the format of the book matters. Can my men listen to their books via Audible? Are e-readers ok? Do I need to hand them a physical copy of the book?
Before we talk about format, I want to encourage with you two stories I recently heard . . .
- After speaking at an event, a mentee approached to tell me about his mentoring group experience. Suffering from dyslexia, he uses Audible to listen to their required books. After first listening, he reviews the physical book and takes notes on what he heard.
- I received an email from a pastor leading a group at his church: “In my group, we have a member who is nearly completely blind, so, he listens to audiobooks when he can. We are currently in the book Identity, which does not have an audiobook. So, he has a fellow mentoring group member read the book to him.”
Remember these stories when you feel like you are asking too much of your men or when you have someone who wants to be a part of the group but doesn’t think he can commit to the workload.
Back to the original question . . . does the format of the book really matter? Is it ok to give your mentees the option of choosing what they prefer? Let’s look at the three common reading options today . . .
What about audiobooks? Research shows little cognitive difference between listening to a book and reading one. The downside is, for some, the mind may wander more when using your ears only versus holding the book in your hand.
How about your e-reader? I read on my Kindle . . . almost exclusively. It is easier to travel with one device containing multiple books instead of carrying two or three in my briefcase. I love being able to highlight essential texts in the book and then log in to Amazon, grab my notes, and create my net-out.
Or the real thing? For many, the only way to read is with the book in hand. The accomplishment of flipping a page and seeing progress can be an important motivator. Plus, it can be cool to see all the books from a mentoring season collected together on the shelf.
When we read in Radical Mentoring groups, our purpose is practical, actionable takeaways. So to me, the format doesn’t matter, as long as the expectations are clear and your mentees understand they need to have to way to take notes and a system to turn those notes into a net-out.
Mentor Tip: No matter what format your mentees choose, it is critical that you make the last item on your meeting agenda to have each one of them order the book . . . right there on their phones from the table. You want to know that they are all-in and committed to the process.
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