Friday, October 28, 2011

Friends Helping Friends

Three months ago, a colleague/friend and I were having a conversation, and out of the blue she asked me if I would be her mentor.

At first, I was a little taken back, but soon realized that this person trusted me, and believed that I had the ability to help her get where she wanted to be.

"Are you sure?” I asked.

“Yes,” she replied.

“You know that I will be taking this very seriously, so get ready,” I said.

Here’s the thing – we’ve known each other a few years and I always told her that she had choices, and I questioned what was holding her back from reaching out for her goals. In her, I saw potential.

But it took for her to ask, and for me to respond, to make what I call the ‘coaching alliance. At that moment where suddenly things are clearer and a person is ready to take the next step into the unknown, and have faith as their guide.

That day, my friend chose to move forward with her life, and I couldn’t have been happier to be there through her journey.

On that very day I gave my friend a few challenge questions to think about over the weekend.

Let’s talk strategy, I told her. Together, we both agreed upon a plan, including:

1. An agreement to work together for three months, with a meeting every Wednesday during our lunch time.
2. A Q&A about her life experiences, specifically, her concerns, fears, accomplishments, strengths and weaknesses.
3. Created short-term, mid-term and long term goals.
4. Provide her with books, articles and online resources.
5. Introduce her to the art of networking.
6. Focus on interview skills and self-presentation.

The result:
As time went on, and we followed our strategy, I began to see subtle changes in her.

More confidence. A positive outlook. An emerging belief that she could achieve anything she put her mind to.

With increased confidence, my friend found herself mentoring relatives, changing her approach in conversation, thinking and acting differently.

The growth wasn’t just one-sided; I too grew in my abilities as a better person, coach and mentor.

This is her testimonial:


I want to take the time to say thank you for coaching/mentoring me. You've taught me to set goals and to take steps to achieve them, to believe in myself, go after my dreams, take initiative for the things that matter most to me, and how to be fearless. You pushed me past my boundaries. You have truly shown me the meaning of professional development. You have a ‘take no prisoners’ attitude, and you gave me the kick in the pants that I needed to wake up and take my life and career seriously. Thank you again.


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