The ME in MEntoring
If we are lucky, maybe when we are young professionals, our parents’ experience will be available to us, or an uncle’s or an aunt’s. Or another relative can enlighten us about what professional life is like in practice. They can tell us how they did it, and what challenges and opportunities they faced.
Similarly, if we are able to count on the experience of other professionals who have also been successful in their careers, I think this would make an excellent opportunity for new generations.
I want to publicly thank the more than 200 women (only in Argentina) who have become mentors in our programs. It really seems to me that sharing their experience with someone else is a symbol that encompasses an act of generosity, of greatness, of dedication, of commitment and even love. It is invaluable.
Being a mentor is also an act of great humility, humanity and solidarity. It has to do with identifying ourselves as human. Your mistakes and your good choices are human; your successes and your failures are human too. It is about someone else showing you a way from his or her own perspective. They are showing you one “way” of doing things, his or her own method, and it does not have to be the only way or the best way. It is the way they did it. It is what worked for them, what resonated or simply flowed.
Besides, to me, mentoring is an act of great fortitude, because you know that your recipe might not “resonate” with your apprentices. They have different styles and lifestyles, or it might not work for them for other reasons. Without doubt, you know that you can inspire them, they can learn from your experience, and you can help them “not to trip over the same stone.” You can inspire them to be assertive and discover what they want to create Journal of a and what they want to reflect, so they can choose the path they want to take on their own… And I find that just amazing!
I love it when the mentor-mentee duos are synergistic, and when feedback and enrichment drive the dyad. However, I also understand that sometimes, at first sight, you can’t find something in common with the person that was assigned to you or that you chose as a mentor or mentee. But you know what? I think the challenge is divine! And by “divine” I mean that it was designed by the universe. Let’s call it “synchronicity,” “god’s work” or “a trick of fate.” It is an amazing challenge. You can benefit from it, and even be transformed.
In the three weeks that I shared with my mentor, I didn’t feel personally or emotionally connected. I expected a connection, although I must admit that maybe she was just a mirror of myself, and it was I who was not prepared to make a connection. I was just a spectator of her professional performance. In spite of that, I thought it was extremely enlightening. I was able to learn a lot, more than I thought.
I was able to learn in a positive and in a negative way. On the positive side, I took all the tools I could adopt, or reaffirm, for my own work. And on the negative side, I was able to see ways that were definitely not what I wanted. Seeing my own reflection there was the perfect Journal of a opportunity to reconsider and challenge myself to find other ways.
However, I also learned that, sometimes, it does not matter how much you want to do things differently, you just can’t. You can’t because have a super tight schedule, for example, and there is not enough time to spare, so you have to choose and prioritize. That is also a learning. Not always are others going to be exactly in the same frequency as you. And sometimes, others may not be able to do things differently either.
And that, in itself, is another learning.
This happens because your agenda does not just list professional items; it also has personal issues. There is only one agenda. Life is not professional or personal. There is only one life and it is about relationships… with yourself, with others, with your god, with the planet Earth or the universe…
What I value about the most recent times is that not only did I learn how to recognize feminine virtues, but I also found my own truth… my inner voice, my core power. We are all mentors and mentees throughout our life and at different times during our journey.
“EXERPT FROM THE BOOK “A VITAL WOMAN’S JOURNAL, EMPOWERMENT, LEADERSHIP AND MENTORING FOR YOUR PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL EVOLUTION” BY MARIA GABRIELA HOCH (BOOK AVAILABLE IN AMAZON IN SPANISH )