SPONSORED BY BUSINESS WOMEN’S NETWORK OF HOWARD COUNTY
By Ruth Lamberty, Certified Life Coach
January was National Mentoring Month, and though it has passed, I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight the importance of mentors in society, with the hope that you’ll seek one out and/or become one!
Mentoring can mean a lot of things – tutoring, guiding, coaching, developing, supporting, and I could go on. At its core, mentoring is a relationship in which a more experienced person helps to guide a less experienced person towards personal and/or professional growth. I’ve had many mentors over the years – friends, an executive at a previous job, a Score mentor when I decided to start Adult Prep and, most recently, a life coach mentor. Each of them has had an important role to play in my development and growth, which is the main reason that I decided to train to become a life coach. Growth is important for each of us.
Research proves that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations. Ultimately, effective mentoring guarantees to the mentee that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, transitions and, here’s that word again, growth.
So, how do you become a mentor? Find someone you’d like to help teach, guide or support in some way and then…teach, guide or support them! It can be something you wish you’d had help with when you were younger, like how to find the right college for you, how to ask for a raise and the like. Or it can be something you’re great at now. Are you a workout fiend? Find a mentee that would like to have a healthier lifestyle. Are you great at calculus? Tutor someone who isn’t. Want to help with all the things? Volunteer for a Big Brother/Big Sister program. You get the point.
How do you find a mentor? Just the opposite. Write down your goals and start looking for someone who can help you reach them. Search for a program that meets your needs through the National Mentoring Partnership or find a life coach in your area.
Lastly, a friendly reminder to be thoughtful and purposeful with your actions; warm and inquisitive with your words. You never know who may be watching/listening.