We can all use help from time to time. Maybe you're facing a new challenge at work and need some advice or how-to? Maybe you're wondering how other women keep their personal and professional lives in balance? Or you'd like to get involved in a different optical field and are not sure how to get started?
Whatever your issue may be, one of the advantages of belonging to the Optical Women's Association is that many of our members have faced similar situations and have valuable insights to share. If you'd like to connect with a mentor, please login or join OWA to view the Mentor Library.
Are you in need of some inspiration? Do you want to hear from some of the most interesting women in business? OWA invites you to Tuesday Talks, presented by our Mentoring Committee. Open to all OWA members, this fresh and provocative webinar series will feature savvy female leaders to dish on trending topics that matter to you. Click here to learn more, see a schedule of upcoming Tuesday Talks, and listen to past episodes.
To mentor or not to mentor that is the question. Mentoring is a two way connection between a sharer of knowledge and learner of knowledge. It is a give and take relationship that can be short lived or endure a lifetime. Lasting friendships can develop between a mentor and mentee. A strong leader becoming a successful mentor isn't easy, but using the ideas of successful mentors can be helpful. "Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximize their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be." Eric Parsloe, The Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring. The habits of an effective mentor will provide:
Setting a good example, also known as modeling, is a good way to create a reputable name for yourself and effectively be known in your organizational role as a valued resource.
Be open to learning from a mentorship as either the mentor or the mentee. There are valuable lessons both parties can learn from each other.
Practice, understanding, being knowledgeable and familiarity are aspects of experience. Each of us has our own unique experiences in all facets of life. Sharing your knowledge with someone else can save them valuable time and money in a learning process. There is always more than one way to do any one thing but sharing successes and failures with each other is invaluable.
Extensive experience does not mean you know it all but we are all life-long learners. As a mentor you cannot rest on your laurels or ever be uninterested in learning new things. Be open to others' input, ideas, and experiences. Listening is as important as talking. It might get personal but life's lessons are learned by going deeper in relationships.
Find a teacher, be a teacher and share teaching. You don't have to be in school to learn. Life is full of educational opportunities.
No one person knows every one thing. We are learning daily about a multitude of things based on each other's ideas, experiences, and knowledge. Connect with more than one person in your area of interest and associate with someone who shares your enthusiasm about sharing knowledge. Be better, be more but don't just "be".
With the help and suggestions from the OWA Mentoring Committee, you can get the information you may be seeking from the right person. OWA has a multitude of talent, not only on the committee, but also in our membership group, that are always willing to help and offer advice as needed.
Sources: Amy Erett for Wharton Magazine and Huffington Post February 26, 2013.