Mentoring: Get What You Give

Do you have someone in your life that just seems to have it all together? They always know just what to do and say in any given situation and they are always willing to lend a hand and answer a question.

When faced with a difficult or delicate issue, do you ever think, “What would so-and-so do?”

I think most people can identify someone in their professional life that has helped them navigate troubled waters, celebrate milestones and listen to us rant about the inequities and unjust in the world. I’m sure most of us cannot imagine what we would do without these mentors in our lives to provide a sound board.

What about you? Are you a mentor? Have you invested your time and energy giving someone a hand up professionally speaking or otherwise?

Having a mentor and being a mentor is so important. They help you find a path and get started. It’s easier to learn from a person who’s talking the talk and walking the walk. Mentors also are our own personal cheering section. They build confidence by giving words of encouragement, moral support and empathizing with your struggles. They can also be a resource for life.

Think about the young professionals you come into contact with and remember what it was like to be the new person or the youngest in the company. It’s not easy. Be the person who smiles at them and introduce yourself. Take them to lunch. Pay the mentor game forward. You might be surprised what you get in return.

Tracey Stratton
IABC/Topeka President