People come in and out of our lives for different reasons. It all has a purpose. It most definitely has a learning.
The last couple of weeks have seen me reconnecting with three men who have all played a mentoring role in my life. With all three men the mentoring began in a professional setting, yet most certainly affected me personally as well.
I had a very specific intent for reaching out to my mentors. Yes, I wanted to pick their brains about something in particular but I also simply wanted to talk with them again. Despite the time that has elapsed since I had spoken with or seen them there was no hesitation in them giving me some of their time. More than I expected actually.
I have written about mentoring several times before. I believe it is invaluable in what you can receive from it and what you can give. Yet I believe there are some caveats attached to mentoring. If you are mentoring someone you have years of experience in working in the particular field you are mentoring others in. You don’t suddenly become a mentor overnight. Yet there are examples of people mentoring others, yet they may not have gotten things ‘right’ themselves yet. Imagine the damage that can be done. Maybe that’s just society now.
One characteristic which was shared by my mentors was their honesty. They would all ask me questions in different ways to encourage me to view a situation, issue, or problem from different angles. They would challenge me. They would guide me. They would also tell me if I was off on the wrong path or had my head in the clouds. There was positive feedback too.
I’m truly grateful I can still call on these three important people in my life when I need to. Or simply to have an interesting conversation.
What role have mentors played in your life? Are you doing the same for someone else?