Degrees, trainings, on the job experience, certificates, and conferences are all great ways to enhance your interpretive growth. What do you do when you need to talk to someone immediately and can’t wait on a book, training, or conference? Contact a mentor! Mentors can be your “go to hotline” when you need to chat and gain valued perspective. How many of you have them? Where do you find them? How much do they cost and what’s the value?
Mentors come in many shapes and sizes. Perhaps it’s a former coach that taught you, “You have 5 minutes to pout about it and then we need to move on.” A former boss who shared, “Don’t complain about what you allow!” The Vice President of an organization sharing, “Put it in a bubble and (insert hand motions)….let it go.” It could be as simple as watching an NFL coach or other leader of a group addressing adversity during a press conference.
The point is they’re all around us throughout our career and cost nothing but an email, phone call, and “thank you”. It can be quick advice or regular check-ins. The opportunity to seek them out quickly and receive their quick points of perspective can help you RELATE in times of uncertainty, fear, in the midst of challenges, or to motivate you and kick you in the rear. At the end of the day it’s an opportunity to take a breather, calm down, learn, and get another perspective helping you and your organization.
While organizations like NAI which is currently looking into mentoring opportunities, or the Association for Nature Center Administrators (ANCA) who already has an established mentoring program in place, look around and think back on the folks you’ve admired as potential mentors. Ask them if they’d be willing to chat!
Moreover are you mentoring the next generation? What can you pass on? What might you learn?
Go forth and mentor or mentee!