If you’re like most people, the process of climbing the corporate ladder or getting to the next level in business can seem like an uphill battle, but there is one tested and proven way to level the playing field and make the entire journey a lot easier: Finding a Mentor.
But don’t just take my word for it. History is the best teacher. Socrates mentored Plato, Plato mentored Aristotle, Aristotle mentored Alexander the Great, and Alexander the Great “almost” conquered the entire world! So you see, if some of our greatest thinkers and successful leaders throughout history have all had mentors, then there is no reason why people today should go through life without a mentor.
In fact, Gauri Seth, president of RAC Houston Conference Center, believes is helping women reach their goals through mentoring. Seth believes in the importance of mentoring so much that she was in attendance at the Houston Business Journal’s Bizwomen Mentoring event on April 4 at Houston Junior League mentoring other women, helping them enhance their career. The event offered attendees the opportunity to choose from 42 professional business women mentors for coaching sessions at the mentors’ tables. During the speed mentoring program, each attendee had the opportunity to have coaching sessions with the mentor they chose at each mentor’s table.
Seth noted, however, that women must be aware that there is a difference between and having a mentor and a coach. Yes, both are related, but the difference between to two is in the relationship. A coach is simply there to help for a short time period, whether it’s three months, six months or a year. However, a mentor is there for the long-term. In fact, only 18 percent of females have a mentor in the workplace, according to a report from California-based employment agency Robert Half. A Mentor provides guidance, as well as indirect, intangible qualities (like character) that rub off on your from simply being around or spending time.
Helping women reach their goals is something that Gauri is committed to, but if you’re one of those who need mentoring, there are three things that YOU must have within yourself in order for the mentorship to be a success.
Thing #1: Be Faithful: Mentoring requires significant time and dedication for the party’s involved, and perhaps the most important of all is your faithfulness to getting the help you want, need, and desire. In order for any mentorship to work, the ability to be faithful, meaning that you must be consistent in whatever is being asked of you is vital to your success. Women, by nature, tend to be faithful at whatever it is that they do, so this is a huge plus for most women. But there is more to it than being faithful….
Thing #2: Be Available: This aspect has been one of the main areas in which many mentorships have not been as effective as they should. Often times something as simple as being available hinders the process. I get it: we all live busy lives, with work, family, and even religious obligations….and adding another dynamic into the mix can be uncomfortable. But it’s the ONLY way that it will work. Making yourself available is key to either being a mentor or the person who is being mentored. Besides, if you’re not there (available), there’s no way it will work.
Thing #3: Be Teachable. Whether you’re the one doing the mentoring, or the one being mentored, being teachable is a must. We all must humble ourselves and admit that we don’t know it all, and adopt the attitude to be willing and ready to grow. Besides, that’s the entire point of mentoring, is to “grow” from where we are right now to where we really want to be.
Having a great mentor, just as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Alexander the Great, etc., did is the way to enhance your life and the life of others.