For those of you who attended our last luncheon you may recall that prior to our panel discussion, I spent a few minutes discussing the benefits of being a WIFS member. Those benefits include many exclusives and discounts but for the purpose of this letter I wanted to spend a bit more time on one of our newer benefits: The WIFS Mentor/Mentee Program. As you may imagine this new program facilitates the sharing of valuable expertise and practical experience for our members and I encourage you to check out its details at: www.wifsnational.org.
If you are still not sure of joining — or thinking you are too busy to consider participating in a mentorship program — having been both a Mentor and a Mentee, I wanted to spend a few minutes elaborating on the value of both roles:
- As a Mentee, I have benefited from a mentoring relationship because I had someone with broader knowledge and experience to turn to for advice. The Mentors I have had throughout my career have been wonderful. They have provided constructive feedback and coaching, encouraged and guided me, helped me see the proverbial “forest and the trees” and have challenged me to think both creatively and fearlessly. Equally important, my Mentors have introduced me to others who have helped me mature both personally and professionally and become part of the fabric of my life.
- As a Mentor, I have enjoyed the opportunity to teach and advise others. It has been exceptionally rewarding to see my Mentees grow and develop their competencies and confidence and in turn grow their job and personal satisfaction. As a Mentor, I have developed a better understanding of the issues that affect others as well as why they are behaving in ways that may not be conducive to success. This has given me insight and as a result helped me to develop my own staff and prepare them for advancement and promotion into ever more challenging roles. Finally, networking benefits are reciprocal; indeed, several of my Mentees have introduced me to individuals who have become my Mentors and friends!
Thus, I am sure you will agree mentoring has long-term benefits. Individuals who take advantage of such programs become more confident and develop strong communications and problem-solving skills. I am a better leader, manager, mentor and coach as a result of my mentoring experiences.
Finally, while a Mentor can be another employee at the company you work for, a leader at the university you are attending, or your best friend, there is great value in a Mentor who is a professional from outside of your immediate circle. So, as I started at the outset of my letter to you, if you are a WIFS member, checkout our mentoring program. If you are not a WIFS member join us and take advantage of this and the many other benefits we offer.
Of course, should you have any additional questions regarding the preceding or WIFS in general, please don’t hesitate to contact me or any of the other WIFS of NEFL Board Members. I will look forward to seeing you at our next event.