My mentors are currently people in my life who continue to push me, continue to believe in me, and continue to teach me. The value in having a mentor can be immeasurable. Of course this depends on your willingness and openness to change, as well as your mentors’ desire to mentor you.
Finding a mentor isn’t always easy. Not only is it important for you to find someone that can teach you, that can counsel you, but also someone who is willing to do those things. Even better? Finding a mentor who is eager to do those things.
Years ago I had a boss who desperately wanted to be my mentor. Although I can try to appreciate his “desire” to be a mentor, I feel that a mentor/mentee relationship is actually quite personal, and in all honesty should be a mutual decision. If one party is not willing to hold up their side of the relationship it’s going to be a disaster – trust me on this. Over a span of about 2 years, my boss tried desperately to mentor me. I do believe he even crossed some lines that HR would not be happy with. It’s one thing to try and help your employee continue to better their work, and (to a point) themselves, but when we get into discussions about “appropriate shoes”…well, it’s best to draw the line. Hindsight is 20/20 (oh so true) and I like to believe that I have learned from this one-sided mentor experience.
That said I believe there is tremendous value in the right mentor/mentee relationship.
To me a great mentor is like a fabulous pair of pumps. Nice on the outside, but can definitely push you to the limits on the inside.
Thank you Holly Hoffman of www.worklovelife.com for bringing together this blogging round-table. What a great opportunity to write about something that is of great importance to me, and I’m sure a lot of others.