the NALS docket December 2011 : Page 3
By sharing what you have learned, you are doing a tremendous service to future members. Delegating some of your duties to someone else with the advice, “let me know if you have any problems,” will help others to aspire to a higher level of involvement in our association. No matter how knowledgeable you may be on a given subject, there is always something to be learned. As a mentor, you are continually evaluating your methods, practices, and knowledge base because you have to be able to explain it to someone else. This enables you to identify ways to improve. You will learn new ways of doing old things and your own skills will grow. Teaching others is the fastest way for you to learn as well. Are You a Mentor? By Marie Schoenfeldt, PLS, CLA Mentor—a word meaning a wise and trusted counselor, one who acts as a guide or model for a less experienced person. Mentoring has been around for thousands of years. The word “mentor” is derived from the oldest of languages, from both the Sanskrit work “mantar,” or “one who thinks,” and the Latin word “monitor,” or “one who admonishes.” According to scholars of the Greek language, it may be older than that. In Homer’s classic poem “The Odyssey,” written around 700 B.C., it is reported that Odysseus leaves the care and training of his son, Telemachus, to his good friend Mentor when Odysseus was called to fight in the Trojan War. High performance is fundamental to achieving success, whether in NALS, at your workplace, or in your private life. Mentoring may just be the best method to ensure that our association thrives. There is a certain satisfaction that comes from sharing your knowledge with others, whether it is a deep-seated desire to teach or simply the desire to see others succeed. Teaching a youngster to ride a bike or helping grasp the concept of math is mentoring. Helping someone learn a new professional skill or advising new members regarding a specific aspect of our association are equally exciting. Watching someone grasp a concept is especially thrilling. As a “seasoned” member, you have considerable knowledge of our association, where we have been, where we are going, what works, and what does not work. You help the newer members by your actions, by your knowledge, and by your attitude. As your successors step up, they rely heavily on the sage advice of other members who have gone before them. Mentoring others is also about giving something back. In fact, most examples of leadership are about taking what you have been given and passing it on to future members. Over the years, someone has taken the time to show you how to be a better member, person, and leader. Someone has, in the course of your life, taken the time to show you how to be a better individual because you have admired them, how they conduct themselves, how knowledgeable they are, and how ready they are to be a mentor. A primary mentor is the person we ask first when we do not know how to handle a situation or we need help. Our primary mentor changes over time as our situations change and we progress through life. As a youngster, that person may be a parent or other relative, a teacher, or close friend. Later on, we will turn to our peers -some as mentors for one area of our life, i.e. our profession, and others in our personal life. A secondary mentor is the person we go to when we have a problem in a specific area of interest. These people guide us through different issues. They might be a coworker, an employer, or a religious counselor. Some mentors are there for only a few minutes. This person pops up in your life and says or does something meaningful to you and is then gone. These mentors make us stop and think and can affect us momentarily or sometimes for a lifetime. Active mentors get involved in the lives of their mentees. They look for common interests and make contact frequently. They let the mentee know that they are there to help whenever necessary. Passive mentors inspire or enlighten from afar. A passive mentor may be someone who is no longer here, such as Amelia Earhart, Mother Teresa, Susan B. Anthony, etc. Everyone has a passive mentor whether they realize it or not. Who are the passive mentors in your life? You can be assured that you have mentored someone, somewhere. You just do not recognize it! Look at your past. You will certainly be able to count several mentors who have helped you along the way. Now look at those with whom you have been in contact either up close or from afar. There are several people in your life who have been affected by your actions, ideas, and opinions. Yes, you are a mentor! To learn more about the NALS Mentor Program, visit www.nals.org/?page_id=4909. December 2011 3
Marie Schoenfeldt, PLS, CLA
Are You a Mentor?
Read the full article at http://mydigitalpublication.com/article/E-Learn+/926372/93996/article.html.