Reverse mentoring

I remember when I was young wishing I'd had a mentor.  The reality is that I had many mentors--they just didn't have the official title.

One year, I had an executive coach--the talented Phill Martin--and I learned in the process there is great power in having a regular meeting over time to talk about becoming.

Since then, I've signed up each year for my professional organization's mentoring program.  For the past three years, I've been paired with a talented young woman who is early in her career to meet once a month to talk about their dreams, goals and challenges.  And you know what? It has been really beneficial for me.

First of all, each of the young women have been really different in their goals, talents, motivations and personalities.  Because of that, I've learned so much.  Mentoring gives you permission to have really deep conversations about what people want.  And those varied perspectives are a window we don't often get in our day-to-day.  (Unless you are a professional counselor.)

You may feel like you need to have tons of advice to give as a mentor--but it isn't about that at all.  You really just have to be able to ask good questions and care about the other person.

Each of us can get so caught up in the day-to-day that it is easy to miss our hearts.  Mentoring gives you the opportunity to listen to someone's heart--which is valuable for them and for you. I also don't think you have to wait for an official program or title.  Just ask someone to coffee.  Then ask them what they care about.

Next month? Do it again.

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© Random Cathy
Maira Gall