I have to make a confession – I love those old episodes of Batman. The ones with Adam West as the Caped Crusader. Kitsch, colourful and comical.
Imagine, like Commissioner Gordon and Chief O’Hara, you’re faced with a professional challenge; one you know that you need help to tackle. Do you pretend that everything’s OK? Do you let your pride stop you from asking for help? Or do you reach for the Bat Phone and ask for some support from elsewhere?
Although self reliance is an important trait, it doesn’t mean that you can’t ask for support. Real strength is knowing when to reach out to others.
Many organisations and individuals recognise the value of mentoring. Access to a trusted, impartial sounding board means people are able to honestly and proactively invest in their professional development. A winning combination for everyone involved.
As a mentoring champion myself, in September I’ll be sharing guest blog posts by pals of mine from three organisations which actively invest in mentoring. So watch this space.
In the meantime, if you’re thinking of working with a mentor, here a few things to remember:
Make sure you meet or speak with prospective mentors before making any selections. It’s important there is compatibility between mentor and mentee. After all, if your mentor irritates you things aren’t going to progress well.
Think about what it is you’re trying to achieve by having a mentor and share it with them. If you don’t exactly know but just know that you need some support, that’s fine. Any good mentor will help you find and clarify what you want to achieve.
A mentor is there to challenge and support you but ultimately, you have to commit to, and take responsibility for, making any changes. Your mentor will have tools to help you but they won’t have a magic wand.
Good luck with finding the right mentor for you. I’m off to make a cuppa and see if there’s any Batman on!