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July 2020

Business, Consulting, Jenny Jackson, Organisations, Strategic Planning, Women

Growing Into Your Gifts

In thinking about writing this blog about mentoring, I kept coming back to “why?” many of us seek to have a mentor or undertake external supervision or coaching. While they are different things and use different techniques,  there are some strong common elements.

Personally, I think mentoring is a really beneficial pathway for supporting individuals to “grow into their gifts”.

A client recently thanked me for their current success. My response was probably a bit odd but it made sense to her and me! I thought I might share it with you…

“What would it feel like to own your success? Because a sunflower seed can only grow to be a sunflower. And sure, it needs the right environment and circumstances. But if you are a sunflower seed, you cant grow into a weed. As a sunflower seed, you already had ‘sunflower potential’ and yes, it is easier to grow into a strong and healthy sunflower if you have good water and nutrients but you couldn’t be a sunflower if it wasn’t already in you.”

I think the same applies to humans. Yes, we can learn and grow but we will always be a human with potential to fulfill our gifts. I truly believe that the role of a mentor is to support the individual to identify their gifts and grow into them.

These are some key words that I think describe aspects of (or reasons for) mentoring:

  • Supports the individual in gaining (and trusting) insight;
  • Increases capability and confidence to navigate complexity;
  • Mentoring is often intuitive and supports the individual to tap into their intuition;
  • Supports and guides personal and professional growth;
  • Encourages and promotes growth through reflection;
  • Provides “stretch” in a safe and supportive environment;
  • Assists the individual to explore options and consider strategies;
  • Enables the individual to ‘practice’ new skills in a safe, non-judgemental setting;
  • Two way process driven by mentor and mentee;
  • Supports the individual to find solutions and work out things for themselves;
  • Heavy on listening

The opportunity to work alongside of others as they grow into their gifts is a delight and professionally, very rewarding. Like any professional relationship, it can sometimes take time to find ‘the right’ mentor or coach and this search is really important and absolutely legitimate. I have a trusted network of highly respected peers with whom I refer (and vice versa) as circumstances warrant it. My advice is to not be afraid to try a few to see what works best for you. After all, its your gifts your growing into and only you know what is going to deliver the best outcomes for you.

So if you are keen to “grow into your gifts” I highly recommend finding a mentor or coach – one who will help you be the best sunflower you can be!

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