The title of this article points out to seeking success in two diverse fields. Tools for success could apply to what you and I need to be successful in, on a personal and professional front. It can also apply to organizations and programs that we are attempting to put into place and are hoping will make a difference.
On a personal level the introduction to mentoring needs to happen at a very early age itself, as that would have a huge impact on our overall development. Talking of this makes me reflect on the research that I did recently, which revealed that a major reason why mentoring did not work on a personal level was that mentors and mentees, did not have the right tools to be successful. They lacked the understanding of what it takes to build a trusted relationship and to maintain it once it has been developed. They were very quick to tell people what to do to “fix” the problem rather than guide them to finding the answers on their own. They were not very good at listening, in fact active listening was not even in their vocabulary.
Have you ever wondered, how much stronger would your personal relationships be if you only had the tools to build such mentoring relationships? How much more effective would you be at communicating how you feel about your partner or how their actions make you feel if you only had the tools to do so? What if those tools had been introduced at an early age and you had all those years to fine tune the related skills? What if those tools were provided to you at various stages as you progressed on your journey through the educational system. Mentoring would have become a way of life, early enough! More importantly effective and meaningful mentoring would have become a part of your life as you would have been equipped with the accurate tools to be successful. Skills are always transferrable from personal level to professional and vice versa. These skills however, are like any other skills that we may possess, honed through some form of training.
On a professional level one of the main reasons that mentoring initiatives fail at workplace is because of a lack of proper training. We are always hasty in implementing a mentoring program because we know it is the right thing to do. However, we completely miss out on providing the participants with the actual tools for success. Consequently we complain that we attempted to implement mentoring and it didn’t work so we will now move on to something else or perhaps not do anything at all. When I think of the different situations where effective mentoring could have made a real difference, it saddens me that we skipped providing the participants with this tool for success. This really resounds like taking a person and knowingly or unknowingly setting them up for failure.
If you really want to invest in your people – provide them with the right kind of training and mentoring and you will have them for a longer period of time. If you can successfully create a culture of learning and development – a mentoring culture, you will have created that ideal work place where everyone wants to be. Your turn over rate of employees will lessen and as a result the good employees will stay. Not just that, your overall productivity and profitability will increase. Now it goes without saying, embrace the “power of mentoring” and provide the most effective tools for success. Can you afford not to?