This is a guest blog post by Pamela A. Scott
Amazon has more than 30,000 titles on “mentor.” There’s lots of stuff out there. Before you get lost in that information, check out these two pieces by EMI authors. They offer great information and ideas about finding and working with Mentors.
Mentorship in Engineering: How to Find and Cultivate a Transformational Relationship by Jeff Perry talks about finding a mentor, making the ask, building and nurturing the relationship, and taking action. Jeff’s article is full of ideas and includes a freebie with 48 questions about mentoring.
How Mentorship Guides the Path to Engineering Success by Tiffani Teachey leans on her mentoring experience. She offers: “We’ll uncover the keys to forging connections that inspire growth and innovation in the field of engineering.”
Mentors Who Made a Difference for Me
These three people changed my life through their mentoring, even if they didn’t use that word. They were not my boss — they were just caring people who had incredible impact on me. Maybe they will inspire you to act.
- Bill, a newspaper man and sometimes professor: I met Bill when I was selected for a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund scholarship after my junior year in college. Bill was the mentor for eight of us journalism students who did an intensive internship at Virginia Commonwealth University. Bill showed me how my skills and talents made me a much better editor than a dreamy-eyed investigative reporter so popular during that time–the Watergate years. Bill’s mentoring led me into a 15-year career in newspapers that was chock-full of excitement of breaking news (too many stories to tell here) as well as the tragedy and grief of missing children, wars at home and abroad, and so much more. Bill led me to my first career, for which I am eternally grateful.
- Larry, business exec and CEO coach: Larry, coach for a group of CEOs, was looking for someone to help one CEO with his writing skills. Larry was given my contact information by an association for training and development that I was involved in. The two of us met over coffee and talked for two hours. We spent little time talking about helping his CEO. Instead, he asked me a bunch of questions and decided we needed to work together. I once asked Larry why he “adopted” me when we first met. He said he saw so much potential in me that he knew he had to save me (he said with a smile). He helped me move into the world of coaching and consulting, where I’ve practiced for more than 20 years. We still value our brother-sister relationship. Larry guided me into my second career.
- Jansen, one of the most fascinating individuals I’ve ever known. I met Jansen through a CEO group Larry ran. The two men could not have been more different. Jansen helped me see life through different lenses. He helped me grow, and he never accepted “I can’t” as a response. If you asked Jansen how his day was going, his response was always enthusiastically, “Unbelievable!” His reasoning was that no one can argue with “Unbelievable!,” regardless of whether the day was good or bad. Jansen added such joy and optimism to my life.
Need More Ideas?
If you’re still looking for ideas, here are two of Amazon’s 30,000 books on mentoring that I think can help you.
“Mentoring Mindset, Skills, and Tools 10th Anniversary Edition: Everything You Need to Know and Do to Make Mentoring Work” by Ann Rolfe. I was impressed by what I read in the sample provided. She has ideas you may not have come across before.
“Super Mentors: The Ordinary Person’s Guide to Asking Extraordinary People for Help” by Koester Evan and Savan Adam. These authors show you that “yes,” you can connect with people you thought would never talk to you. Get out of your own way and give their approach a try.
Wherever you are in your life journey, there are kind and loving folks out there who would be happy to add richness to your career and life, just as Bill, Larry, and Jansen helped me.
About the Author
Pamela A. Scott is an executive coach and founder of MentorLoft, a coaching firm that works with CEOs and execs to prepare their Next Gen leaders to run their company. Pamela specializes in coaching engineers and CEOs of professional service firms. For more information, visit www.mentorloft.com.
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you might share on how a mentor has added richness to your life.
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To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP