I will be honest with you, I really don’t know everything about mentoring but what I do know is having a mentor pretty much gives you the nudge in the right direction in whatever you seek.
So let’s take for example you have a professional exam to write in a few weeks or few months’ time and you have very little idea about it because you are probably sold out to self-study (either as a means of saving cost or just because you prefer it). Then you decide to start studying and have absolutely no idea where to begin.
Then hey! out of the blues you remember your close friend saying to you some time ago her cousin studied for the same exam and passed. Then you pick up the phone and ring your friend asking her to connect you with her cousin because you really must pass this exam at first sitting. You get her cousins contact and call her and speak to her about your worries, fears and concerns about the exam. Then her cousin reassures you that it’s okay to be afraid and its fine if you are unsure of yourself, in fact she makes you feel really comfortable with opening up to her before she unleashes so much knowledge and tips on the exam. She then closes the conversation with this sentence” if I can do it then you can do it better” how about that?
I can rightly say she has given you all the ginger you need to succeed and that there is what I call a sneak peek into mentoring! And in fact she doesn’t stop there, after the call she sends you useful materials on what to read and also calls you week by week to measure your level of progress!
I believe that is what mentoring is about- taking someone else by the hand and leading them along a path you have crossed before.
Letting them take the driver’s seat while you as a mentor take the passenger’s seat.
Asking them if they have checked the tyre pressure, oil gauge and the water level in the car before they start the engine.
Pointing to them the potholes and road blocks along the way to enable them navigate faster.
Looking in the side mirror while they drive to help them overtake an on-coming vehicle safely
Reminding them to slow down as they approach a sharp bend, traffic light or a downhill.
Or simply just having a fun conversation with them in the car to ease their nerves cos you sense they are tensed as it’s their first time of driving on the new route.
And telling them well done! Once they arrive safely at their destination.
That to me is what mentoring is. What is mentoring to you?
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