The Student Whisperer

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Perhaps silver bells and cockleshells worked for contrary Miss Mary, but master gardeners do not “make” their gardens grow. And yet it is clearly not by chance or accident that they succeed. They understand the principles that govern their success, and they know their role in the process. Whether explicitly or intuitively, they understand natural law and they orchestrate circumstances to cooperate with it for an optimal crop.

Like a master gardener, a great mentor, a Student Whisperer, knows how to set the stage for transformational experiences—as often as they are needed. She knows how to create the environment where such feelings and experiences are frequent, how to use such experiences to help us discover and improve ourselves, and even how to repeat and reinforce such feelings so that our motivation and efforts are sustained. A great mentor cares—and she is effective.

This book is designed to help you become a great mentor—a true Student Whisperer and leader at the highest level. It will also help you work effectively with such mentors as you pursue your goals and life mission. This book is part deep teaching of the vital principles of great Leadership Education, part self-help workshop, part example through parables, and part exploration of the great ideas that make mentoring and quality learning most effective at all ages.

This book is specially designed and organized with a dual purpose:

  1. To help readers experience and recognize what it feels like to be greatly mentored
  2. To concurrently outline the principles of great mentoring and help readers turn them into personal skills and even habits

The first part of this book (Book One, covering Chapters 1-5) is told as a personal narrative, and immerses readers in a series of life events as a student learns from her mentors and grows in the process. The intent is for readers feel what it is like to experience working with committed and demanding mentors as they go through Book One.

The second part (Book Two, comprising Chapters 6-16) contains information that is vital to becoming a great mentor (and to working with great mentors), and guides the reader through several exercises that help turn the concepts and principles of great mentoring into personal skills and strengths.

The authors have worked together (first in a Mentor-Mentee relationship, and later as colleagues) for nearly two decades—as many of the stories in Book One show. Oliver used the methods taught here in mentoring Tiffany and many other people, and Tiffany has applied and expanded on the same principles and methods in her mentoring through (The Leadership Education Mentoring Institute) LEMI for well over a decade.

Over the course of these many years, they have learned what works (and what usually doesn’t) through direct mentoring, and vicariously through mentor-protégées. This book imparts what they have come to understand of truly great mentoring—what they call Student Whispering.

Chapters 6-9 provide foundational information valuable for all mentors and those who are mentored.

Chapters 10-13 help readers throw off past biases about teaching and establish a transformational foundation for great mentoring. Topics include:

  • The two major balances (first between the Manager and the Artist, and second between the Warrior and the Healer)
  • The various voices nearly all students listen to, and how to speak the language of each most effectively
  • Seven key questions Student Whisperers ask about each mentee
  • How archetypes are central to great education and Student Whispering, and how to apply this knowledge as a mentor

Chapters 14-16 deal with further transformation. This includes workshops on:

  • How to get the most from your mentors
  • How to become a great mentor
  • How to plan your strategy of becoming a Student Whisperer so that it encompasses life as a place of learning…and more


Product Details:

First edition, published by TJEdOnline March 2011
Page Count: 
156-page pdf download developed from the original 304-page typeset version.
Chapter Outline: 


by Oliver DeMille

Inspire * The Lineage of Mentors * What, Exactly, is a Student Whisperer? * Neither by Force nor Chance * Three Levels of Mentoring * Inspiration * The Highest Level: Student Whispering * Two Books in One * Special Thanks

Book One

Chapter 1: Mentors

by Tiffany Rhoades Earl

The Call * The Mission Mentor * The Assignment * Roadblocks * Trusting the Mentor

Tiffany makes an appointment to meet with her old Liberal Arts mentor to request that he be her Mission Mentor–and it does not turn out as she expects. The challenges facing her family’s business. Flashbacks to earlier experiences with informal mentors. 

Chapter 2: Beginnings

by Tiffany Rhoades Earl

Soul Mentors * Informal Mentors * Formal Mentors * Allegiance * Crossing the Chasm * A New Call

With stories from her youth, the author relates her experience with various mentoring types and situations, and the challenges that she met along the way.

Chapter 3: Depth

by Tiffany Rhoades Earl

Off to College * Commonplace Book * Shakespeare * Truth and Lies * Simulations * Independent Thoughts * Plato, Calvin, Darwin & Marx * Descartes * Hobbes * Rand * Dewey * Tolstoy * Suzuki * Klingler * Allison * Women in Modernity * Demosthenes * Argument vs. Debate * Poetry vs. Prose

Over the course of four years under the tutelage of a Formal liberal arts mentor, we experience the author’s evolution from an enthusiastic but untried scholar into a more mature young adult with the ability to participate in the Great Conversation with the classical works she reads, her peers and her mentor.

Chapter 4: Life

by Tiffany Rhoades Earl

Tolstoy * Systems * Tests, Trials and Traps * Seasons * A New Call * Becoming a Mentor * Forms * Business Mentor * Business Partner * Building Communities

After graduation from college, the author finds herself living the American Dream–happily married with great kids, home ownership, entrepreneurship–and feeling like she’s not on track with her mission. When the new Call comes, she finds that juggling her responsibilities and finding the right way pursue her mission requires the help of mentors.

Chapter 5: Freedom

by Tiffany Rhoades Earl

The Education of a Wandering Man * Trek to Hungary * A Near Miss * She Was There * Witness of a Revolution * Force, and Other Lies * Ugly American * The Museum of Terror * Purge the Leaders, Subjugate the People * Debriefing with Mentor * Yes, I Am.

The author visits Hungary with hopes of learning about the Revolution. With her nose in a book, she nearly missed the opportunity to speak with a woman who was there; the conversation deeply moves Tiffany, but does not nearly prepare her for her visit to the Museum of Terror, where she begins soul-searching for answers on what it all means for her Mission. A post-journey debriefing with her mentor takes an unexpected turn.

Book Two

Chapter 6: Student Whisperers

by Oliver DeMille

The Heart of the Matter * Sticks, Carrots and Love Affairs * Choices and Consequences * Teaching the Heart, Mind and Soul * The Student Whisperer’s Creed * Great Education * Time to Record: Your Whisperings

Chapter 7: Mentors

by Oliver DeMille and Tiffany Rhoades Earl

Seven Mentors * Parent Mentors * Soul Mentors * Expert Mentors * Leadership Mentors * Mission Mentors * Gurus * Epiphanies * Time to Record: My Mentors

Chapter 8: Trail Blazers

by Oliver DeMille and Tiffany Rhoades Earl

The Path of All Success * Which Path Are You On? * The Blazed Trail * The Law of the Wall * The Path to Nowhere * Time to Record: My Challenges

Chapter 9: The Path

by Oliver DeMille and Tiffany Rhoades Earl

The Greats and Their Mentors * Test #1: The Call * The High * Time to Record: My Call * Test #2: Opposition * 4 Allegiances * Others * Self * Evil * God/Good * Time to Record: My Allegiance * Test #3: The Great Chasm * Time to Record: How Will I Cross It? * Test #4: Hard Work * Time to Record: What do you need? Whom should you ask? * Test #5: Endurance * Tests * Trials * Traps * Time to Record: My TTTs * Test #6: The Ultimate Test * Time to Record * Test #7: The Pressure Lets Up; Do You? * Time to Record: What were you born to fight for? * Blazes on the Path of All Success

Chapter 10: A Whispering Language Lesson

by Oliver DeMille

Inner Dialogues * The Critic * The Victim * The Judge * The Rebel * How to Tell the Difference * But, What About…? * The Real You * The Inspirer * Time to Record: The Real You, The Inspirer * Amazingly: Negatives are, well, Negative * Time to Record: Plan of Action * Listening Matters

Chapter 11: The Whisperer’s Dance

by Oliver DeMille

What are you teaching? * The Manager/Artist Balance * Time to Record: My M/A Balance * Time to Record: Whispering Exercise * The Healer/Warrior Balance * Time to Record: My H/W Balance * Time to Record: Whispering Exercise * The Whispering Quadrants * Manager/Healer Quadrant * Manager/Warrior Quadrant * Artist/Warrior Quadrant * Artist/Healer Quadrant * Mentoring the Prodigy * Time to Record: Quadrant Mentoring Exercise

Chapter 12: Seven Questions

by Oliver DeMille

What do Mentors do? * Whispering Questions * Time to Record: My Key Questions Exercise * Time to Record: My Mentee’s Key Questions Exercise

Chapter 13: Inspiring Archetypes

by Oliver DeMille

Jung and Personality Theory * “My Archetypes” Exercise * Time to Record: Whisperer Exercise

Chapter 14: Getting the Most from Your Mentors

by Oliver DeMille and Tiffany Rhoades Earl

Eleven Lessons * #1: Take Responsibility * #2: Master the Mentor’s Style * #3: Trust the Process * #4: Keep the Mentor in the Loop * #5: Ask the Right Questions; Follow Through * #6: Act * #7: Welcome Correction * #8: Under Stress: Listen! * #9: Under Stress, ReallyListen! * #10: Get Past the Myths About Mentoring * #11: Learn from Both Sides

Chapter 15: The Art of Mentoring

by Oliver DeMille and Tiffany Rhoades Earl

Nine Mentoring Lessons * #1: The Warning * #2: The Contrast * #3: The Role * #4: Go With Your Gut * #5: Use the Classics: * #6: Be Educable * #7: Use Many Mentoring Environments * #8: The Challenge * #9: Know Your Mentee * Twelve Mentoring Improvements * Pass On a Legacy * Be a Mentor * Develop a Cadre * Teach the Path * Be an Advocate * Be Selective * “No,” and an Assignment * From Impossible to Mundane * Fish in Your Pond * Planning through Tests * Rigor Through Traps * Empathy through Trials * Stay the Course * The Work of Student Whispering

Chapter 16: Spirals

by Oliver DeMille and Tiffany Rhoades Earl

The Big Picture * Grand Spiral of Life * Iterations * Gurus * Spiral Lessons * Time to Record: Spiral Exercise * Conclusion


Appendix I : Student Whispering Questions
Appendix II: A Student Whisperer’s Guide
Appendix III: The Student Whisperer’s Creed
About the Authors

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