Celebrating Mentors in Our Lives

Did you know October 27 is National Mentoring Day?

The holiday was founded by Chelsey Baker in 2014.

This occasion makes it the perfect time to contemplate the incredible impact mentors have on our careers and our lives. Hopefully, we each have formal and informal mentors who've made a significant impact on our personal and professional development.

And don't forget to reflect on the importance of being a mentor to others.

Mentorship is not about age or tenure or geography or reporting structure.

Mentorship is about guidance and discussion and skills and improvement. It's learning how to take a quality or trait from a strong leader, understand it and emulate it. It's about listening and coaching and then trying and doing.

Mentors truly help you soar.

If you are offered mentorship or coaching, say yes. Don't hesitate. Don't let confidence or fear or title or experience get in your way. Say yes! Harvard Business Review even published an article emphasizing how mandatory mentorship could be vital to the impact it has within an organization. A fascinating concept worth exploring if you are in a leadership position and have the ability to make coaching and/or mentorship required for any group of your associates.

In my own personal experience as a mentee, I find informal relationships and interactions that are more fluid seem to work really well for me at this stage of my career. As does an informal "meet and greet" arranged by someone in my network who recommends I speak with someone they know well too. I've had many delightful conversations over the years this way, often with sound and solid advice for me to contemplate and implement in my own journey.

Need a mentor? Not sure where to start?

I’ve coached some young professionals recently who truly don’t know where to begin as they explore the need for mentorship. I often ask some of these basic questions to steer the conversation.

  • Do you have a formal (assigned) mentor?

  • Do you want a mentor?

  • Do you have any informal mentors?

  • Would you make a good mentor to others?

  • What do you want to get out of a mentor relationship?

Let's celebrate National Mentoring Day tomorrow by thanking someone in our own lives who's impacted us positively! And, let's keep the conversation going.