Posted by: healingtheworkplace | September 18, 2012

Mentors Can Help Create a Positive Work Environment

Hi there, what do you think of when you think of mentors and mentoring? If you’re like most people you probably think about career advancement. Most mentors are happy to help with that but they also can play a part in helping you with balancing work and personal life and even in dealing with a workplace bully if there is one around.

Mentors are a godsend for introverts.  I should know—I was blessed to be mentored by a number of great leaders, and, in turn, I have enjoyed mentoring other people.  In my experience I don’t think I ever formally asked someone to mentor me but I was open to receiving advice from managers and senior leaders who “opened doors” for me so that I could advance in my career.

Basically a mentor is someone, usually older and more experienced, who, formally or informally, shares their knowledge and experience in order to help us move forward in our careers.

In a recent Vancouver Sun article on mentoring author Chelsea Emery writes,

“In a modern twist mentors are also relying on their protégés. Older employees often depend on younger staff for technology guidance. As employment security wanes, laid-off bosses may need to turn to former subordinates for job leads. So the relationship may be more symbiotic and less paternalistic than in the past.” (source: Working Section, Vancouver Sun, September 15, 2012)

Being an introvert who didn’t like to “toot her horn” having a mentor was transformative. These women all saw leadership potential in me and as Jennifer Kahnweiler would say they “pushed” me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to take on new challenges that I would otherwise have missed.

You don’t need to limit yourself to one mentor either:

“The road to success is a lot smoother when it’s lined with cavalcades of supportive colleagues and zealous mentors to sing your praises, open doors for you, and provide sage advice.”  Robin Roffer

If the organization you work for does not have a formal mentoring program and there are no potential informal mentors then you may have to seek out a mentor on your own.  Now that we have the internet to help us, finding a mentor should be easier than ever. is a Canadian company that provides a long list of links to well over 100 mentoring sites around the world. Some of these are general sites but many focus on special interest groups. also provides a section with tips for locating a mentor.

Creating your own personal brand will make it easier for you to know what you want to achieve and it will also be easier for your mentors to guide you in the right direction.

So, “stand out, be indispensable, and be remarkable”. This sage advice from Linchpin author Seth Godin who writes about the skills needed to thrive in our modern workplaces.

 Cheers, Lesley






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