Where is the gift?

Author: Janine Fink , The Dolder Grand Hotel, Mentor of AICR Switzerland

The best part of being a mentor is that you also learn something new from every mentee.

Once I had the great pleasure to mentor someone in a managing role and during our third session together, that person had an ‘aha-moment’ and said:

Aha, the question to ask in my complicated situation is not how to find the problem and the solution. The question to ask is: Where is the gift?

After that session I went home and felt like I was the one being mentored and that I just learned a valuable lesson that I could apply to a different situation in my own life: I had been trying for a couple of months to resolve a conflict without success.

I finally realized that I just had to look for the “gift”: Why am I in this situation and why now?

It is my firm belief that nothing happens by coincidence, absolutely nothing. So I kept looking for the gift in that conflict, and after some intense reflection, I finally found it: It was right there in front of me, but because I was trapped in my old habits and used my traditional solution-finding mode, I didn’t see it. The gift was: Learn to say no and stick with it. Stand up for yourself and for what matters to you.

And I decided to apply that lesson to that person I had that conflict with. Every time I crossed this person’s path, I would practice being absolutely clear and even a bit nasty. I did write a journal every day to record my progress. And guess what: After 14 days the other person also changed their behavior and started to treat me differently and respect my viewpoint. In fact when I later met the spouse at an event, the spouse thanked me for that direct and honest conversation… apparently it was necessary and the right thing to do.


Do you have a difficult situation to handle and can not see the gift (yet)? Or like to share your story here- please comment below or write us an email.