Mentoring is having the advice and guidance given to you by a much more experienced and successful person. First, your mentor must listen to you and understand your issues and challenges. Then he or she should be able to ask you pertinent questions to clarify your concerns. By answering these questions, you may come out with some potential solutions on your own. Your mentor may then point you towards the right direction or option. As a result, you can become much more effective sand successful in your personal and professional life. It should be a two way relationship. The final decision is always yours to make. At least that is what my mentor did for me.
I was lucky to have numerous wise mentors throughout my life. I am going to talk about two of them and how they helped me. Sylvia Fraser was a mentor assigned to me when I joined Orleans Raconteurs Toastmaster club. I did not choose her, but luckily she was the best mentor for me at the time. Not only was she was a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), but she was very focused and professional. Right from the start, she got me involved in the learning program by helping me with my first speech. She made time for me. I would practise and rehearse it at her house. She held my hands for my first ten speeches. Today I am conducting workshops and seminars internationally because Sylvia Fraser mentored me well.
One of my previous bosses, Denise Boudrias, is also a great mentor of mine. When I worked with her, I liked her management and leadership style. It was aligned with my own values. I had a tremendous respect for her and enjoyed working in her team. When I moved on, I asked her to be my mentor. She accepted with pleasure. She followed my professional growth and development, giving advice and guidance when I sought it. Today after we have both retired, I still consider her as my life mentor. We still meet for brunch every two to three months.
I have been blessed to have numerous great mentors. Some came by chance, and some I chose and asked for their advice and guidance. Many potential mentors who I asked for assistance refused for their personal reasons. Unless you are very lucky, if you don’t ask you will definitely not have a mentor. In turn, I have mentored numerous people worldwide who have benefitted from my advice and guidance. I always ask all my mentees to pay it forward. I believe that’s the ripple effect is the real power of mentoring.
So do you have mentors in your life? How can you improve your mentoring relationships for better outcomes?