We are living in a world where we need someone who can guide us, train us, and help us in learning something which is new and which can lead to success every now and then. What do we call such a person in a professional language? A teacher? A lecturer? A trainer? But a mentor!!!
A mentor is one who can train, advice, guide and help by enabling individuals to develop their skill in a particular domain; especially when you are fresher/ junior in that domain even when they are not doing well off.
We all have/had a mentor in our life (professionally/personally) but few individuals will make a strong impact on us which will even create a difference within us. You may hear of people saying “Basics are important for you to emerge as a good professional”. But the one who will guide us to have a strong base is a mentor.
Not every mentor is 100% perfect and knowledgeable but when we come across one, we should make use of the opportunity given. Thankfully, I have come across someone whom I can proudly say he’s my mentor and I have been mentored by so and so person. Apart from subject knowledge, these mentors also teach us professional etiquette, situation handling and a lot more which will motivate us to become next mentors.
Here are the top 7 lessons one must learn in their life:
There is always another door:
A major mistake we do as a professional is unidirectional thinking. When we end up with an error or when we stuck with some issue, we just try to find a solution in the easiest way aka jugaad way. We never think about the root cause or any better ways to find a solution. When in such situation a mentor says “Don’t think in only one aspect, there will be multiple options to find a solution, don’t restrict you to one and don’t conclude anything in a hurry just to complete your task faster”.
“CHANGE YOUR THINKING PERSPECTIVE, not problem statement”
Self-satisfaction is everything, appreciations are nothing:
Between self-satisfaction and appreciation, around 60% of the people choose appreciation over self-satisfaction. These are the type of people who wants to get on the limelight among a bunch of employees. But does such appreciation really make you happy?
One cannot be happy without work-life satisfaction. You have to accept the appreciation as a way to get motivated in work but you should never get demotivated if you do not receive any appreciation. So in the end what really does matters is how satisfied you are with your job.
“DON’T JUDGE YOURSELF ON HOW MANY APPRECIATIONS YOU RECEIVED, YOU WILL
NEVER BE SATISFIED”
Designations are meaningless unless you deserve it
How will it be if a fresher/college graduate looking for an IT manager role?? It doesn’t make any sense! There are certain roles/positions to be earned over a certain period based on experience as well as knowledge.
A good mentor will never recommend you to compete for the positions/designations. There is nothing wrong in having a goal to achieve success via promotion but before that, you should be abundantly knowledged, deserving and a valuable person to dignify the position.
“DESIGNATIONS WILL AUTOMATICALLY FOLLOW WHEN YOU HAVE KNOWLEDGE”
Accepting mistakes > Excuses
Not more than 30% of the people accept the mistakes we do. We give lots of reasons to escape from our silly mistakes. As a human being, it is common to make mistakes. But there is a big difference between committing and admitting those mistakes. Accept when you do something wrong rather than giving excuses. This is the greatest lesson I learnt from my mentor.
“LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES BUT NEVER REPEAT THOSE”
Worship not the job but your knowledge
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t love our job. But there is a big difference between worshipping the job and loving the job. It is how we worship a god and how we love our parents. Learning is a vast ocean, we never finish learning. Love the job and at the same time focus more on learning things. Job is like one-sided love, you don’t know when it leaves you but knowledge is like parents, even though you leave them, they will stick to you.
“KNOWLEDGE MAKES YOU AN CONFIDENT PERSON”
Quality of work is better than the quantity
Quality or quantity depends on the situation. Suppose, you are in a desolate area (Desert) and you get a bottle of water. Would you rather drink that water or will you see if it is a bisleri/ filtered water? At that situation, you will not look for the quality. However, you are in a 5-star hotel and you have an option to choose between the filter and non-filter water. Obviously you will prefer a quality at that time.
But what would you prefer between the quality of work and quantity of work? When it comes to the quality of work, we look for the perfection on the work and when it comes to quantity of work we just keep count on the work we do. So it is always preferable to go with the quality rather than the quantity.
“PRODUCTIVITY IS NOT ABOUT DOING MORE BUT ABOUT CREATEING MORE IMPACT
WITH LESS WORK”
Listen and then react:
Most of our lives spent reacting to other actions before listening to them completely/properly before thinking. Such a gesture at work place may portrait you ‘half-baked beans’. You will not learn anything thoroughly neither does listen. So as a professional the first thing you should learn is to listen and then to react. When someone is explaining to you something you should listen to them carefully, give a pause, think and then respond.
“LISTEN, UNDERSTAND, ACT”
This is the value of having a great mentor. As I said earlier not everyone will get such
opportunities to be shadowed by someone and it is not like a class room training/coaching, it is not that “I teach and you are done”, it is a knowledge that you can acquire from someone over a period of time.
The best mentor will always ask a lot of questions so as my mentor. But I end up blabbering something. So someday when I asked him “did I say anything wrong” his answer was “No, you just have to improve your memory power”!!! He will never give up on his mentees.
Being a mentor is not an easy task. He has to be a trusted person, good advisor and a knowledgeable person. A good mentor will understand his/her mentees learning style,
personality, goals, and way of working. One of the positive things I have seen in my mentor is that he feels happy with the success of his mentees and he, even more, motivates to achieve something big.
It is always the best feeling to have a mentor who can support you in all the way possible to attain success professionally/personally. All you have to do is to show some respect for their effort and interest in what they say.
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