Lean Forward. Learn. Leverage.

This week’s featured book is a comprehensive guide to helping mentors and mentees bridge gaps between and among cultures—a growing issue in today’s diverse workplace, and is coauthored by the founder and CEO of the Center for Mentoring Excellence.

Bridging Differences for Better Mentoring

As the workplace has become more diverse, mentoring has become more challenging. Mentors and mentees may come from very different backgrounds and have limited understanding of each other’s cultures and outlooks. But mentoring remains the most powerful tool for creating meaningful relationships, furthering professional development, and increasing engagement and retention. Younger workers and emerging leaders, in particular, are demanding it.

Lisa Z. Fain and Lois J. Zachary offer a timely, evidence-based, practical guide for helping mentors develop the level of cultural competency needed to bridge differences. Firmly rooted in Zachary’s well-known four-part mentoring model, the book uses three fictional scenarios featuring three pairs of diverse mentors and mentees to illustrate how key concepts can play out in real life. It offers an array of accessible tools and strategies designed to help you increase your self-awareness and prepare you to embrace and leverage differences in your mentoring relationships. But beyond tips and techniques, Fain and Zachary emphasize that authenticity is the key–the ultimate purpose of this book is to help the mentor and mentee make a genuine connection and learn from each other. That’s when the magic really happens.

Meet the Authors

Lisa Fain is the CEO of Center for Mentoring Excellence, and founder of Vista Coaching, the coaching division of the Center. Her passion for diversity and inclusion work is fueled by her strong conviction that leveraging differences creates a better workplace and drives better business results.

Lois Zachary is an internationally recognized expert on mentoring and has been cited as “one of the top 100 minds in leadership” today. You’ve likely seen mention of Dr. Zachary’s books, or read her quotes, in The New York Times, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Inc. magazine, T&D, Leadership Excellence, The Chronicle of Higher Education, or other business and leadership news outlets.

Praise from Readers Like You

Lisa and Lois have provided a superb curated resource. The content is well researched (extensive resources provided), pragmatic (accessible tools and strategies), and experiential (Your Turn section at the end of each chapter). I will be incorporating this content into my coaching and mentoring practice. If you are looking for a single ‘go-to’ resource, let it be this book. —Kathy Bollinger, 5-star Amazon review

Currently, I am involved in a coaching process with a group of women, each from a different country. Although serving with the same organization and fulfilling the same responsibilities in their roles, I know that each one will have their own lenses through which they view this development process. The book challenged me to see to see below the level of the water (the iceberg) to really understand and be of the greatest possible asset to them during this year. The Identity Iceberg is worth the price of the book.—Janet Beal, 5-star Amazon review

“I would advise anyone working with mentors to buy the book. The model presented for bridging cultures is excellent and in my cross-cultural work this 4 stage model will guide our work. The stories of the types of setting for mentors are well crafted and approach the various ways in which culture affects the mentoring process. This is a book for mentors as well as mentees and will help each in developing positive mentoring relationships.” —DocMyron, 5-star Amazon review

“I’ve worked in the mentoring world for many years, and wish that Lois and Lisa had written this book a long time ago! The book is practical and easy to use with a mentoring partner. The guided exercises encourage collaboration and deep knowledge about one another, which is necessary to nurture a strong and trusting relationship.” —Judi Fenton, 5-star Amazon review

Learn More

  • Buy the book on Amazon for yourself or a friend, or leave a short review of it.
  • Visit the book page to learn more about the book and download free resources.
  • Stop by the website to learn more about the Center for Mentoring Excellence.