Inspiration can come from many sources, and for each of us, it’ll come from different places. I find inspiration in books, in the creativity displayed by artisans and crafters, and in the everyday interactions I have with those around me. When I struggle to find inspiration, I seek out the services of a library or ask for guidance from those I trust. It was while exploring my library’s various resources for blog topic ideas that I happened upon a mention of mentorship. That mention inspired this blog.
What is mentorship? Merriam-Webster defines it as “the influence, guidance, or direction given by a mentor.” Mentors are trusted advisors who generously share their experience, knowledge, and support with others. For those of you who are lucky enough to have had a mentor in your life, you no doubt benefited from the personal or professional guidance that he or she provided you.
There are many different types of mentors. Traditional mentors are those advisors who most closely fit my concept of what a mentor is. They are the older, more experienced individuals who provide one-on-one coaching to those of us with less experience. Peer mentors coach those who are at a similar level of responsibility and status. Group mentors work with more than one individual at time. For even more descriptions of mentor types, search the internet. There you will find definitions for life mentors, career mentors, aspirational mentors, reverse mentors, and so many more. Whatever the type of mentor, the great ones all have one characteristic in common; they have the ability to guide and motivate others.
Becoming a mentor is a worthy endeavor, and if you are so inspired, there are a number of resources that can guide your journey into becoming one.
While performing research for this blog, I discovered several informative TED Talks on this subject. To find them, just perform an internet search for “TED Talks and mentorship.” One of my favorites is How to be a Great Mentor by Kenneth Ortiz.
The library is great place to seek out information on mentoring. Within the collection of the Dauphin County Library System, I found books like the following:
Bridging Differences for Better Mentoring: Lean Forward, Learn, Leverage provides guidance on bridging gaps that arise when mentoring those from diverse cultures. It is available in print, eAudiobook, and eBook (OverDrive) versions.
The Art of Mentoring: Embracing the Great Generational Transition explores mentoring those of the next generation. This is available as an eBook from OverDrive. To use OverDrive, library members will need to register for this service by downloading the Libby App and will need to enter their library card numbers and PINs to sign in.