What is a mentor? Simple question right? I ask this because for years I had one, or thought I did and they turned out to not really help me much at all in the end. They derailed me more than anything. So I will give you some advise on what to look for instead to help you find someone to help you with your quest for success.
1. Find someone who matches your career focus. What is it you want to succeed in and go after that professional person.
2. Communicate openly about what skill set you are looking to achieve and what you would like help them to groom you in. If you aren’t open to change or get advice it won’t be beneficial.
3. Have regular meetings to check in. The best thing you can do is regularly meet to gain perspective and check in with your mentor. Learning is how you become successful.
4. Watch them at their game. You learn by doing and by observing. See if you can tag along with them to meetings or find out what conferences or events they may be at. They are your best resource for improvement and to learn from to be your best.
5. Failure is possible and is OK. It is a learning possibility and not a setback which is why a good mentor will have failed as well. Learn from your mistakes and listen to the advice on how to correct them.
So listen, learn and succeed with a good mentor. I made my mistakes with the one I had and now I hope you can learn something too.
There are people in the world who keep things to themselves, they don’t want to rock the boat because often times they feel they will hurt others feelings or they will get hurt themselves. They also want others to like them.
There are also people who are open, speak up, are seen as overbearing, intimidating and aggressive because they are go getters. They aren’t afraid to rock the boat and get an opinion or what is being hidden in the room or conversation out there. They are candid and to the point.
What is a problem is that both groups have difficulty coexisting in the same setting at times. We still make judgments on people who speak up and say what others are too afraid to say themselves. Those that don’t want to speak up silently ridicule those who are candid and then can’t interact or work with individuals who are open and want to get the issues out there to work through the tough stuff.
How can we get through these issues if people can’t come together? I don’t have the answers but I do know that people need to be given a chance and people need to not be judged on their words alone.
For one, look at the impact people are making. If the person is candid and upfront and they are making a difference then maybe it is a good thing. Learn to work with it and find a way to interact with those who are candid, open and overly zealous. You never know, you may just learn something. It also goes the same for those who are more open, learn from your quiet counterparts, what is it that you can gain from their more reserved demeanor that you can incorporate into your life?
The two can coexist with hard work and determination.
Funny thing about communication. Some people know how to communicate effectively and others- they close themselves off when the slightest thing doesn’t go their way or something is said that they just don’t like. It is interesting to me to watch this display or dissatisfaction. I say that for these reasons:
1. I talk to a lot of people everyday. I talk to them on the phone, through the computer, through electronic communications, and in person. Over time you learn to read their interactions with you and the silence you receive. The more you get to know someone the more you learn the triggers that are sent.
2. They don’t know how to react. Instead of talking things through, they jump and react by closing themselves off from the world. Some just need to learn to use their words.
3. People shut each other out for days/weeks thinking that it is the best way to deal with a situation. For them it is best but for the work situation, collaboration or even a friendship- it is detrimental.
4. Basic understanding is key to self growth. Sometimes you don’t always get what you want but communicating what is needed from others is a risk we all take each and every day. We have to learn to live with what others share, no matter how hard it is to swallow at times.
Those are my four principles for communication when others don’t respond or communicate effectively with each other. Learn to accept when someone says something you don’t necessarily like. You may not know what is going on with their lives at the time and you may not know the situation you’ve put them in if say a meeting was cancelled that was of high importance for work and they’ve been made to back track for you. Rethink your reactions.
When we share information and intimate details there is the expectation that the other person is listening, showing empathy, genuinely caring about what is being shared. However, that doesn’t always happen. We are sometimes mistaken and find they aren’t really paying attention to what we are saying at all. It is disconcerting to find that a conversation important to us is nothing to them. It makes us shutdown, turn away, close them out. It shouldn’t but their reactions speak louder than words.
There is a bit of hope and solitude that comes with these days and these feelings. We run. We find our inner peace and bear down. Yes it hurts that they don’t share the same world with us and we will have to figure out a way to help them see the light, but for moments in time where we need to just find some peace in the world from their lack of reality- we run.
It is better to have peace and calm within yourself than to have worry and angst over their reactions.
Today I discovered that I am way to trusting. I give people the benefit of the doubt when really I should be second guessing people and their motives. I should be asking the questions:
Why are you being so nice to me?
What do you want?
What is in it for me?
I have been lied to. I’ve given way too much of my time and energy to care when I really shouldn’t, and I invest time where it should be spent on other important things. Why do I do it? Am I just a fool? I am beginning to think so. I’m so over all the drama, the lack of communication and others lack of respect that I am throwing in the towel folks- enough is enough.
I also am so very, very tired of having to be the one to reach out to people. I have said it once and I am saying it again- it is not a single lane road but a two lane highway. It goes both ways. Its give and take, not just take. I am not wired that way. Most people aren’t. If you are then I’m sorry, please seek assistance. Communication and interactions with individuals cannot be only one way. It has to go both and without open communication there is no true communication in this world. That is probably why there is so much drama out there.
I’ve talked a lot about communication. I find that it is important especially when it comes to relationships. If you don’t communicate with the individuals you have relationships with there is bound to be trouble. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a romantic relationship either. It can be a friendly relationship, work relationship, even a familial relationship. Whatever it might be, communication really is the key.
Recently I’ve experienced some strange encounters with folks in regards to communication. I say this because I’ve had both too much communication and too little communication. When I say too much, I mean an extreme overload of information in a short amount of time. Then there are the too little folks. They give you bits and pieces and hope for you to get the meaning without really telling you what is going on. How are you suppose to be supportive if you don’t have all the information? Hmmm…. I don’t understand that one.
So that leaves me with someone like me. I like to share information but have been told I share too much. The problem is, I am sharing with the people that I care about and I thought that sharing what is happening in your life and what concerns you was something you should be doing. Am I wrong in thinking those thoughts? I don’t think it is right to keep things bottled up inside and wish them away because that never happens. Everyone needs to be able to talk to others. That is the basis of communication to sort things out and communicate with one another; Imparting wisdom between individuals, etc.
But I’ve also found there is a difference between someone who wants to listen and someone who blocks what you are saying as well. The listener will be engaged in the conversation. They won’t brush you aside or play video games, look at their phone or check their email. They will discuss the situation with you and talk with you. The individual who blocks the communication will do everything else. They tune you out of every possible situation that you bring up. You talk only to the walls and I’ve learned that while my walls are very nice in color, it is better talking to a live human being.
Therefore, I am here today on my soapbox to say that if you aren’t being heard, stop talking to the wrong people. It isn’t worthy it anymore. Find others who will listen and give you the compassion and consideration you need. Sometimes it really does take just that minute or two of observation to sink in for you to see that who you communicate with really can make a difference in who you are and how you feel about yourself too.
Rethink what you are communicating and who you are communicating it too. The person sitting next to you may not always be the best choice.