In my most recent meeting with my mentor (over a delicious cup pumpkin-spice-flavored steamed milk), I realized my vision as a thought leader was missing one important element: happiness. I should make sure that in all of this striving to “be” who I want to be, that I be happy.
I believe my idea of balance is a reactionary goal based on stress, the stress that reduces happiness if not experienced in appropriate doses (like healthy deadlines vs. debilitating inhumane levels of work to be done).
After my meeting about the topic of ‘respect’ I focused on my homework, which was to fill in the blank “I want to be someone who ___.” This naturally started with “I want to be someone who is respectful.” After this, I wrote:
- “I want to be someone who enables people to achieve success.”
- “I want to be someone who enables strategic thinking in teams and in individuals.”
- “I want to be someone who achieves success with balance.”
This is when I thought about the idea of blogging my experiences with being mentored. I was already writing down my thoughts and working out this vision for myself, but if I were to share it, others might gain from it. In my next meeting with my mentor, I brought up the idea. In these past few entries I am now writing out what I have learned over the past month or so, plan to write moving forward.
I have been working on my professional and personal growth for some time. It is important to me that I constantly strive to do better and be better. I found someone who is very talented at coaching who has agreed to be my coach/mentor. We meet every two weeks. I realized that I’ve read a lot about coaching and mentoring – many people blog about coaching as a subject, and how to coach, but I don’t think there are many out there documenting what it is like to be coached. So this blog is an experiment in documenting my experiences in being coached. I hope it serves to help others who are looking to be guided in their professional and personal development, and I also hope it serves coaches to see the impact and influence coaching has on the coached.
I have had to think hard about whether I should call this coaching or mentoring because they are different. Coaching is focused on performance in many ways, and is specific in guiding someone toward success in their field. Mentoring is focused on life path, which may go beyond the specific career field. So I call this blog ‘Being Mentored’ and will call it mentoring, especially since I feel that my mentor is guiding me in more than my professional development, even though much of the focus is coaching within the professional context. I hope he’s ok with the name… yikes! In this blog, however, I will still use both words. In the first few entries I probably won’t use them correctly, but it will be refined as I move along.
In our first meeting my mentor asked that I promise to mentor in the same way I have been mentored; to be mindful of my experience so I can do the same for someone else. We also discussed why it is that I want to be mentored. He guided me to the conclusion that I need to have a vision for myself: not what I want to do better, but WHO I want to be. What does that vision look like? What does this person look like, act like?