Walking With Mark: Valuing Mentorship

November 16, 2020


On today’s walk, I thought I would talk about the value of mentorship.

And in my career, I’ve had the opportunity both to be a mentor and a mentee. And regardless of the role I was in, I found that the information that I got from that relationship was invaluable. If I could narrow my learnings into three main topics, I think they’re as follows. I gained practical advice, encouragement, and support from someone outside of my normal peer group.

I learned from someone else’s experiences, and I developed strategies for dealing with issues that either I haven’t dealt with before, or I got some validation on the way I handled something in the past. The latest mentor/mentee relationship that I had, we had meetings on a quarterly basis. Two of those meetings were in person, and two of them were over the phone. And prior to every meeting, we set ourselves an agenda. So we had specific agenda items that we talked about,and we had a certain time frame to talk about them.

Throughout the quarter, I wrote down areas that I had concerned with or that I wanted to talk about. So, for example, I would write down a certain scenario that I was having with an employee. Maybe I had never been in that situation before, and I wanted someone else’s opinion of that. So as items arose throughout the quarter, I would write them down and turn those into our agenda items. That framework provided us an opportunity, number one, just to catch up and discuss current events and topics that were happening throughout the office.

But more importantly, it provided us a distinct amount of time to talk specifically about each agenda item. And again, I got the perspective from someone else that I respected very much. Again, the value of that relationship, getting someone else’s experience that’s been there before, giving you encouragement and support, and getting advice from someone who’s living in situations that you have or haven’t in the past.

I recommend to everyone the benefit of being in a mentor/mentee relationship.

Good luck.