Can you remember a time when someone gave you support, or important counsel, sound advice or positive reinforcement on something you were doing?
Encouragement is an important support and guidance motivation given by a more knowledgeable person (such as a mentor) in helping a less experienced or knowledgeable person (mentee) to develop in some capacity.
Many times, parents are mentors. They have the experience and know-how in “How the World Turns”. They may have gone to college, experienced love relationships, had children, bought houses, paid taxes, and countless other things. Hopefully, they are good mentors who encourage, support and guide their children in their everyday challenges. Sometimes, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, or family members are mentors. They are the ones to go to when one needs to know what can be done about a special issue; they either give good advice or advise options on how to work at it. We are indeed blessed if we have mentors in our lives.
What if we don’t have a mentor? There are many occasions when ‘two heads are better than one’ and additional input is needed. How does one acquire a mentor? Are there different avenues or vehicles for finding one? Yes, there are.
There are personal mentors and organizational mentors.
How can a personal mentor help you? Sometime during your lifetime, someone may take a special interest in how you are accomplishing a task or trying to. It may be in a teacher or principal in school. It could be a leader or coach in an activity in an athletic or after-school activity. Or a girl or boy scout leader in a social club. Or perhaps a pastor or spiritual leader in a church affiliation. It could be a family member who has the same interests or experiences in what you are trying to master – a job interview; which courses or schools you could attend to pursue a career; what career choices would you be best suited for.
A mentor is usually someone older and more accomplished in the task you are endeavoring. He/she will give you feedback on how you are accomplishing so far; give you advice or hints/solutions on how to continue; or reinforce how you are progressing. This is a one-on-one relationship which lasts over the time of the task’s duration.
You might even seek someone out and ask them to be your mentor on a task. It doesn’t hurt to ask. Most people like to help and may feel honored that you chose them. If the person is agreeable, you could set up a schedule to go over the progress of what you are doing and the mentor can advise plusses and minuses. Depending on the personalities, this person could become a life-long mentor who can aid you in further tasks. Sometimes it evolves into a mentoring over a variety of life’s issues. Such an arrangement can benefit both the mentor and the mentee. And form a special, honored life-time relationship.
Marie Coppola August 2019