Mentoring Magic

By Laura Roan Hays, Branch Manager, Great Dane

I had the honor to be a facilitator at one of the round table discussions at the 2018 Accelerate! Conference. The topic was “the importance of mentoring in your career”. The discussion brought out many key points. One in particular is that in many cases, the younger generation simply don’t know how to ask someone to be their mentor. Typical communication methods have changed drastically. Mentors need to find ways to reach out even if they haven’t been asked. The mentee may be struggling and doesn’t know how to ask. Try sending a text or drop a quick e-mail because it’s possible the mentee may not open up if you ask them to come into your office for a discussion. 

Always be willing to mentor and find yourself a mentor. Everyone needs encouragement – regardless of age and experience. Taking the time to mentor someone will change their life as well as enrich yours. Maybe the mentee is seeking assistance in how to get through a particular dilemma. The mentor is there to offer guidance or possibly validate that what the mentee is experiencing is not new or unique. Sometimes just being that “listening ear” is what the mentee needs. Saying it out loud to someone who is not going to tell you how wrong you are, but will instead allow you to openly discuss a situation is often all that is needed. Allow the mentee to talk and then provide real life situations that you’ve been through. Explain how you maneuvered through a similar situation and came out the other end.

When you share your message you become encouragement and inspiration to others.

Being a mentor is an opportunity to pass it on. How many of us would be where we are today without the guidance, understanding and encouragement from mentors?

This topic is near and dear to my heart. Being a female in a male-dominated industry for (30) years – I had the privilege of being mentored by several individuals that truly believed in me. Their guidance and encouragement helped boost my self-confidence to a point that I was ready for the challenges that were facing me. It’s now my time to give back. I hope I have the opportunity to make that same impact on someone’s life.

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