Lesson in the Fall

I have had the great pleasure of leading mentoring programs for organizations.  Mentoring is one part art and one part science and can have almost magical impact in the development and growth of a mentee and the experience of the mentor.  

When I am helping mentors prepare for their role, one of their biggest surprises is that I tell them to share both their successes and failures.  Of course, mentees are excited about creating a relationship with a mentor who is skilled at their job and has accomplished challenging goals.  (Often mentors wonder whether they will live up to those high expectations.)

Yet, what can have the bigger impact is relaying the stories of struggle.  For instance, do you remember the time you sat frozen in the chair during your first interview?  Or you made a blunder in a big presentation for a project team?  These are the moments that we learn the most.

 In her most recent book, Rising Strong, Brené Brown talks about the value of going through the “reckoning, rumble and revolution” that only happens when we find ourselves looking up after a fall.  When we are at our lowest point after a failure, we have the opportunity to view the world from a completely altered perspective.  

If you are a mentor now, consider whether you are sharing all sides of your story.  And if you are starting this new year in a lower place then you'd hoped, consider what you are more aware of here.  When we recover from a fall, we have an opportunity to create a deeper connection with ourselves and move forward stronger for it.