Sometimes just having a person who you can turn up to, who is a great listener, can resolve a lot of challenges that we face both on a personal and professional front. Taking that a step further, what if that person is someone outside your workplace and has developed a trusted relationship with you. You know that this person is not going to leak, any of the things that you talk about, to your co-workers. You know that what you say to them stays with them and that is so very important. That person could very well be a mentor!
A recent article entitled, “Mounting stress affecting workplace” in the Leader-Post newspaper has hit the nail on the head with what I am observing, is taking place in most organizations. The article quoted a number of industry experts who all share, more or less the same opinion on what they are seeing and what the outcomes are. The days of the open door manager are slowly beginning to diminish as they struggle to get their own work done while trying to resolve personal issues of their employees.
The article also touched on employees who are determined to de-rail the best efforts of their colleagues and slowly grind the company to a halt while continuing to spread their negativity throughout the organization. Negativity costs the US economy $300B annually. I find that people find it a whole lot easier to focus on the negative, rather than looking for the positive. I travelled to China recently, and the airlines routed my luggage to another location other than the one in China. I could have focused my negative energy on the airline and some of their employees, but chose to look at what the positives were in this situation. I got to see some strong supporters rally to the cause and help me out in a number of ways. They focused on helping me secure some clothes for the short term; they took over working with the airline to get my luggage to me as quickly as possible. Business meetings that were scheduled went ahead, with some understanding on everyone’s part, that this was not my normal attire. With all that energy focused in the right direction, eventually my luggage showed up the morning I was to deliver the training course.
There are a lot of things going on in our personal and professional lives at present. I won’t go into all of them but, just ask that you look in the mirror and ask yourself what things trouble me today. Then, I want you to think of how you might be supported in dealing with those situations. I am sure that you have friends or co-workers, or even a manager that you sometimes will turn up to. All of them can be a part of your support network. I want you to think of the value of having a mentor – an effective mentor who can be a part of that support network. This person would be impartial and most likely outside your organization, so that any of the professional issues you deal with, remain confidential. If you get to the cross roads and you are still not sure – contact me and we can discuss what might be a path for you to follow. Consider that as my gift to you – the gift of mentoring! As I read through the article and reflected, I could see the business value for effective mentoring, helping resolve a lot of the challenges that are mentioned. We need to look at effective mentoring more closely, as the business value is most definitely there. Embrace the “power of mentoring”! Can you afford not to?