Friday, October 30, 2015

Can I Be your Mentor, Please?

We’ve all needed a mentor at some time in our life. Sometimes they are easier to come by and other times not. We might have had an inspiring teacher who believed in our musical ability or we might have adopted a TV family because ours was in ruins. If we paid attention, if we looked, we might have been fortunate to find one in our own home or next door in our neighbourhood.

But what about if you’re ready to mentor and there appears to be no one around who cares to learn?

A very wise friend of mine finds herself precisely in this circumstance. She has decided that she will be retiring from a role that she has held for the last dozen years. She loves her work but feels it is time to move on to another challenge. The problem is, there is no one on staff who wants to learn what she’s accumulated in her head all these years.

She has asked herself the question as to whether it is her Ego stepping in here. And being the compassionate woman I know her to be, I am most doubtful of that. She is aware that whomever takes over her role, will be qualified, will do things in their own way, and will quickly forget about her. But still she would like to have the chance to save them some angst. So what do you do?

I’ve told my friend to believe in herself, to know that her contribution to her workplace has not gone unnoticed. She is always a stickler for documenting her research and I believe that these notes will be invaluable to her successor. That what she has set in place with standards and practises have been adopted as an example by her colleagues. And lastly I have held her hand and told her, that what happens after she leaves is actually not her business.

All we can do is do our best. We do it for ourselves, we do it for our customers, our patients, our children. We can lead our lives with the best intentions, but what we leave behind for someone to use, is up to them.

See Naphtali Hoff's post on 8 Qualities of Strong Mentors

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