Have you considered sharing your skills and experience?
Have you considered sharing your skills and experiences? Do you enjoy working with less experienced or younger people? If you answered YES, this month is for you! January is National Mentoring Month, and as many of us may have made resolutions in the spirit of giving back, it seems an appropriate time to shine the spotlight on mentoring. The National Mentoring Partnership has resources and information available at www.mentoring.org to help you get started.
Our firm has sponsored college students in an intern program. These students have become successful in many areas and have now become mentors to others. That’s the exciting part of mentoring—it expands exponentially!
We also fund a scholarship through Avon Dollars for Scholars for a female high school student who plans to major in business. Providing a scholarship is a simple and practical way to get started mentoring.
Recently we completed a mentoring cycle with a Bentley University student. Our relationship began in her freshman year of college and continued right through to the signing of her first “real” job contract. It was rewarding to watch a young person grow and develop. We met regularly during school vacations and stayed in contact via social media during the school year. We helped with course selection, resource suggestions for papers and projects, referrals for internships, resume writing and development, etc. A calm listening ear, sage advice, and lots of encouragement and support help this age group successfully handle the normal hurdles they face. In turn, they bring boundless energy and enthusiasm, an ability to think outside the box and question everything, and an interest in the latest technology to the mentoring relationship.
Through the Avon Chamber of Commerce, our firm works with several young entrepreneurs. We are currently developing a leadership/business practice for their W.H.A.M. (We Help Avon Members) group. We use a team/coach approach, dividing into small business groups of 3-4 with one mentor. Groups meet once monthly and discuss three questions:
· What business practice(s) worked last month?
· What challenges did you face last month?
· What 3 goals are you interested in achieving next month?
Diverse solutions and ideas, accountability and bonding (building relationships) are wonderful outcomes of this type of mentoring. Our firm also sponsors the M.A.P. - Mentoring Avon Professionals. This is a group where we encourage everyone to share and discuss their skills and expertise. We discuss a business topic of concern each month and hold a round table discussion.
In addition, we work with friends in Rotary who are very experienced and skilled leaders in their vocations/missions. You are probably wondering why anyone like this would need mentoring. The simple answer is we all do—no matter how skilled or successful we are. Everyone needs some sort of appreciation, recognition, and support. It can be as simple as “well done” comment or referrals to another professional who could assist them with a project. Sharing coffee or lunch to discuss a new idea helps to affirm and motivate. Attending a fund-raising event or donating goes a long way towards project completion. Even a spa gift certificate to remind these extraordinarily busy people to slow down and not let the well run dry works wonders for their spirits.
Mentoring is both a privilege and a joy, and one I hope you will consider adding to your New Year’s “To Do” list this month. The rewards for you and your mentee will continue throughout 2019 and beyond.