The Power of Mentorship

Last year my wife left the country for 7 weeks setting off to Cuba to manage a group of Canadian women on an agricultural exchange. I suddenly found myself needing to expand on my virtuosity in the kitchen (and a need to take my kitchen skills beyond the barbeque!) as well as increase my repertoire of failsafe recipes. What did I do? I called Mom.

A couple of years ago, in preparation for my men’s recreational hockey season, I decided to undertake some pre-season training. I wanted some advice on how to improve my skating technique. What did I do? I worked with a power skating coach.

When you find yourself starting out in a job that is new to you and you don’t really know where to begin, what do you do? You ask an immediate supervisor or a team lead to ‘show you the ropes’!

We all have had people who have been mentors incorporated into the many different facets of our lives often without even realizing that they were mentors, as Jennifer Lawton reveals in her article Mentors for Life.

Having mentors can assist you in reaching a number of personal and/or professional objectives:

  • Mentors help by directing you to something that has already been perfected or fine-tuned by somebody else. Stop “reinventing the wheel”!
  • Mentors help to keep you ‘on track’ as you pursue your goals.
  • Mentors motivate you.
  • Mentors help to reduce the learning curve on things you need to learn.
  • As the mentee, you benefit from the experiences and discoveries of someone else, learn from their wisdom and share in their successes.
  • In a mentoring relationship, you are accountable to someone for your own progress.
  • Having a mentor is economical. It doesn’t have to be an expensive undertaking (except in the case of my mom, who has apparently sent me a bill for her culinary expertise and services).

Your effort and time invested to seek out mentors is worth the investment, but you need to prepare yourself beforehand. You can do this by determining the areas where you feel you could improve or where you might need support. Then begin your search for someone who does it well and with whom you can establish a mentoring relationship. Jaime Walters’ article on The Seven Tips for Finding a Great Mentor, speaks to some suggested strategies when you begin your search for a mentor.

Through your self-awareness, understanding and knowing what areas you want to improve and then finding somebody to help you do it, you will be taking steps toward sharpening your skill sets, creating a support network for yourself, and most importantly moving forward in your life, either personally or professionally.

That’s the Power of Mentorship!

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