Mentoring is connecting with an outstanding person who doesn't need you to like them, who can have situation specific conversations with you with in support of your goals without compromising integrity.
Do you remember having someone who believed in you? Someone who stood by you with support and candor? Being a mentor is being that person for someone else.
Self-indulgence is not the object of a mentoring partnership and humility is the quality to look for in a mentor. This levels the relationship and puts mentors and mentees on the path to shared discovery.
An impulse of new mentors is to help too much hinders the growth of the mentee. A little struggle is a good thing and a reality. Likewise, championing your mentee above others, creating artificial opportunities will build a shaky foundation for the mentee in the long run.
Realism, trust and truth are the cornerstones of the a solid mentor and mentee partnership. Looking at challenges and opportunities together in this way support reaching goals. A mentee reached out for guidance, support and candid feedback to facilitate positive growth. As a mentor, if you promote and praise less than stellar work; if you cannot be truthful with empathy and compassion, you do your mentee a huge disservice. They may step ahead and over others with this, but in the end the building blocks they missed will pull out like Jenga blocks that tip the structure over.
So, to do it right? Create a partnership with goals, trust and candor. Be the mentor who shares the path of self discovery and improvement both by teaching and by learning from your mentee. Be the one you remember who made the difference in your career. And pay it forward.
I had a reality check this week; the kind that makes you sit back and say "yeah, I get it - I got it".
It all started with communication and tentatively finding some common ground in the stepping stones to building a collaborative work relationship. We shared some of what defines us outside of the work cubicle.
So often our dreams include the hurrying up and getting out of here - the looking for the next big thing that all too often colors our here-and-now with discontent.
My colleague shared with me his dream of coming to Canada. And he shared some of the challenges to be faced as an immigrant in a new country. A lot of the challenges. And he said "it's all about living the dream, and I am living my dream. I am here."
And here is where we talk about perspective. I loved the perspective my colleague has in saying he is living his dream right now. What really are your dreams? Are you so sure they are over the horizon in the far off future, the "when I get this, when I get that, when I achieve??" Maybe we are really living the stages of our dreams right now.
Happy living your dreams. And thanks, Noel.
Our electronic world aside, I still keep a notebook. It's full of plans, notes, project notes, and musings. As I move towards the back of the notebook, the front pages become soft and worn. The bookmarked pages, sometimes taped together to last.
Everything in the notebook speaks to a story of what is and has been.
Now it's time to move into a new notebook and with it comes the fresh, crisp pages of promise and new opportunities. Fresh start. Reset. Let's see what is written in the new stories!