The Personal Side of Mentoring
As most of us have experienced, the lines between work life and home life have blurred in recent years. As a remote employee, I try to set boundaries for when I work so that I don’t lose my personal time altogether.
But I have also found myself seeing parallels between my personal life and what I do for a living—telling people about mentoring. Mentoring is one of those beautiful acts that can impact the whole person, not just their professional work or skills.
I thought of this in relation to my role as a mom to a child with special needs. My 7-year-old son has cerebral palsy and several other serious health issues. In the past 12 months, he has had two surgeries, and my husband and I are preparing for him to have his third in just a few weeks. As we met with doctors and specialists to prep for his all-day hip surgery (and the many weeks in casts that will follow), I became extremely overwhelmed. How will we move him? How will we care for him and bathe him? How will we feed him since he won’t be able to sit up?
I’m a planner, so not knowing how to deal with these coming problems was distressing to me. But as I spoke to the doctors and nurses, and as I struck up conversations with other parents (complete strangers who I basically accosted at the hospital) who had children going through something similar, I started to realize…I am not alone.
I have many mentors and supporters surrounding me, giving me advice, helping me deal with the struggles my family faces, and giving me strength to do what I need to do for the well-being of my son. Through all of this, I came to realize that I have a mentoring mantra, which can be applied by all of us, regardless of our circumstances: I do not have to do this alone.
This mantra can be applied to participants in mentoring (mentees and mentors), as well as to mentoring program administrators. You don’t have to do it alone.
When I thought about this, I realized that our whole reason for being in business at River is so that people don’t have to go it alone. We have built business mentoring software to help administrators, mentees, and mentors. We have training to support everyone involved. We have a team of experts who can talk through issues with people and help them find solutions. In short, we are around so that no one has to launch, manage, or report on a mentoring program alone.
We often talk to our prospects and clients about building a mentoring culture; this mantra gets to the heart of that ideal. You don’t have to do it alone. You have people around you who can support you, guide you, catch you when you fall, and be a sounding board for you. You have a community of people here at River whose daily purpose is to support you. (I have also experienced this support from my colleagues at River as I deal with my family issues. They are truly a wonderful group of people to work with.)
So now I remind myself: I don’t have to do this alone. And the same holds true for all of you. Check out our white papers, webinars, blogs, and articles for free information about mentoring. It is just one of the ways that we are here for you.