She is over 80 years old, grew up in several foster homes, and taught me the meaning of the phrase “opportunity for growth”.

As a young therapist, I had so much to learn. In order to fulfill the requirements to become a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, I had to attend 200 hours of supervision. This meant that I would review cases with an Approved Supervisor with the American Association of Marriage & Family Therapy. In addition to the required coursework and internship of actually seeing clients in session, supervision was the avenue of honing my skills as a therapist.

What I learned from my supervisor, who became my Mentor, was invaluable, both professionally and personally. She taught me about the nuances of relationships, seeing beyond the surface, dwelling on strengths vs. limitations, casting a vision of possibilities despite the odds and so much more.

On more than one occasion I learned that if I was stuck, it was usually something in me that was the block. Sometimes it was an issue I hadn’t dealt with in my own life. Other times it was a negative judgment that I wasn’t fully conscious of. She had a way of asking questions that prompted me to think in new and expansive ways, which often included bringing my own “stuckness” to light. Many times I wanted to know “what does she mean?!!” And I would get so frustrated that she wouldn’t tell me! She would then give a grin and say, “it’s an opportunity for growth”. She taught me how to look within and come to my own answers that always taught me more than had she told me herself.

Mentors are people who stretch us, believe in us, and take us beyond where we could go on our own. They are the kind of people you want to learn from, follow, and emulate.

January is “National Mentoring Month”. If you have a mentor, tell them what they mean to you and how they have helped you. If you don’t have a Mentor, get one! Especially in today’s ambiguous work environment of constant change Mentors can make the difference between a leader who just gets by to one who creates a positive ripple effect across the entire organization.

In our next e-zine, we will address five ways to engage your employees and be the kind of Mentor that inspires your team to give their best.

Make the conscious choice to have a Mentor and be all you can be!

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Bonnie Artman Fox is a Mindfulness Trainer and Coach who has over twenty years in the healthcare and psychology fields. She specializes in helping Small Business Owners, Corporate Leaders and HR Professionals stay calm, be decisive, and lead by example. If you would like to improve your focus, presence, and inspiration as a Leader, contact Bonnie at 412.877.8331 or Bonnie@AConscious.com 

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