Who's that Girl?


Mentoring: Value At All Ages. Who’s Yours?

Originally posted: January 25, 2012 on TrishMcFarlane.com

I had a little “incident” at home.  I tried to open a jar and couldn’t do it.  Actually, it’s happened a few times recently and each time, my eight year old son comes to my rescue.  I hate to admit that getting older can mean that I lose certain abilities such as strength or dexterity.  I was also reluctant to have someone help me, let alone someone so much younger who was then able to do the task with ease. Then I realized, it’s the way the world works.  The techniques that he was using were different than my approach and ultimately, his way worked better for me.

As we age, there are many things that the younger generations can do that we cannot.  I’ve experienced it on the other end of the spectrum too, where someone more senior to me may be resistant to my help or expertise.  It’s human nature to want to do things for ourselves, in the way that we are used to doing them.  However, by doing this and not capitalizing on the skills of others, we are only limiting ourselves.

Benefits of allowing others to teach you

  • Learning new skills to aid in your job or personal life
  • Exposure to new technologies to improve inefficiencies you experience
  • Allowing yourself to be inspired by the “spark” or passion that another person can share when they teach you something

It’s well known in the business world that if you find a mentor who is more senior to you, they can share their experience with you.  This leads to improved skills and knowledge and ultimately to higher level positions or pay increases as you develop.  Lesser appreciated is the reverse, when a younger, less experienced individual shares their knowledge with you, it can also lead to increased skills, revenue or higher level positions.

My point today is open yourself up.  Regardless of age, having teachers and mentors of all ages will help you become a more well-rounded leader.  Do you have people in your life who mentor you?  Does their age or experience level impact your development?  Share about them in the comments.  I’d love to hear some great mentor stories!

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