A young girl watched her mother every day in the kitchen preparing delicious meals. Occasionally the mother would ask the young girl to hand her a pan, or a bowl, or a spatula, or a whisk.
Even though her mother was a fabulous cook and presented elegant and complicated meals for guests and family on holidays, and although the young girl watched intently and handed items to her mother when asked to do so, she never learned to cook.
Another young girl watched her mother every day in the kitchen preparing delicious meals. The mother said to her daughter, “Pull your stool up here and help me prepare this meal.” Every day the daughter worked beside her mother preparing meals under her patient tutelage, and she also became a fabulous cook.
How many times do we make the mistake of the first mother, who provided many wonderful meals but never passed her knowledge and skill on to her daughter? Beyond that, how sad that this mother did not take advantage of the many hours together to form a closer bond with her daughter.
Often we work along side eager individuals who want to improve their knowledge and skill so they can grow into more mature and successful professionals. However, we are so busy and wrapped up in our own responsibilities that we miss the signals and the opportunity to share something of ourselves with them that will make them better and more productive both now and later.
Mentoring in the workplace
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
American author, poet, humanitarian
Mentoring provides many benefits for oneself and for those we mentor. Mentoring makes us more INPowering and effective leaders.
When one feels more competent, they learn to step out on their own more readily. They mature in their knowledge and skill and are eventually able to coach and mentor others.
Mentoring and including others fosters engagement. We invite fresh eyes and new ideas into our experience, which also opens us to new experiences and ways of thinking and doing.
A closer bond
Mentors and mentees develop closer ties and come to know each other at a deeper level. Trust grows in this bonding. When we trust more, we are willing to exchange information more freely and more comfortably. This reinforcing cycle makes both stronger.
Gratitude and loyalty
Regardless of how deep the bonds become, mentees remember their mentors with gratitude and fondness. Mentors nudge others toward maturity, and then, they send them into their own world to make a difference. These networks remain intact over time and distance, and this broadens the influence and reach of the mentor.
Marsha Blackburn, U.S. Congresswoman, make this case for mentoring, “Everyone has a transferable commodity-knowledge. Sharing your unique expertise and making introductions for someone creates a lasting legacy.”
“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.”