Supporting a Colleague May be one of the Greatest Types of Mentoring

Posted on January 24, 2008. Filed under: Generation Y, Mentoring |

So, I have to confess, I am not the greatest public speaker. Since I was little standing on the stage at the Miss Teen Grand Rapids Pageant (I won by the way, how I don’t know!) when I could only spit out a few words when I answered my final question, with my knees knocking and heart pounding. I am sure everyone could tell I was about to faint. But I must have said the right words, “I want to be the first women President, so men will finally know women can do it too!” Powerful words for a 13 year old, even though they came out with deep breaths in between. There is no way I could ever be President (Utopian like dreams 🙂 ) if I can’t speak in public!

I could sense my nervousness then and continue to have it. This week I had to get up in front of two different crowds to speak. The first was a group of about 25 people and the second was in front of a group of 150. For the first group I got up there with confidence and broke down half way through. I got through it, but shaking. Believe it or not I did better in the second group of 150. The reason, I leaned on strong peer support from my colleagues.

They all know I am not great in front of people, I clam up, I can’t speak, I cough a lot. It is like my brain is telling my mouth to shut the hell up before I say something stupid. We all have these fears, but now for all my fears I have to look to others for advice with the experiences, older or not.

I don’t have to have a single mentor I always go to, although it is good to have someone to shoot ideas off of and get their opinions, someone you trust. You don’t always have to rely on that person for help.

To prepare for my speech today I asked several of my colleagues for advice. I relied on peer mentorship and it paid off, well at least I was better than yesterday :)!

My challenge to other Gen Yers is to do the same. Look to everyone around you with wisdom or knowledge on a particular topic for advice, and keep your mentor for the big things. This way your mentor won’t get bogged down and others may be more willing to mentor. Your coworkers may get annoyed by you, but if you are shooting ideas off each other and all getting better, more the better!

Here’s to better public speaking & finding the right mentorship from all around you!


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[…] see, everyone who is close to me knows I am terrified of public speaking.  Well, who isn’t, right?  (If you aren’t let me know I want to know your tricks!)  […]

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