FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN DO, NOT WHAT YOU CAN'T
So much time is spent focussing on improving our weaknesses or 'areas of development'. I think it is more important to develop our strengths.
What are you really good at, what do you do really well? Once you can articulate this, passion and purpose will follow.
IT'S OK TO BE YOURSELF
In the workplace, there is nothing more tiring than pretending to be someone you're not. I recently came across a TED talk by Susan Cain from Bill Gates' Top 13 Playlist.
Cain speaks about the power of introverts who bring extraordinary talents to the world. Yet society (the workplace in particular) dictates you should be an extrovert if you want to be successful.
Leaders need to respect diversity and create a culture that encourages bringing out the best in our employees and we need to listen to the quiet voices more. Mentors should help people understand who they are and that they don't need to be someone different.
BE TRUE TO YOUR VALUES
The ever-changing workplace requires us to make many decisions every day. However, our values as a person should be the one constant that does not change.
As a mentor, I encourage people to understand their values so that no matter what change might be happening around them or to them, there is a sense of uncompromising stability in what you stand for. Values create a sense of purpose and help us to be resilient in the most challenging of times.
FIND YOUR SWEET SPOT
I volunteer as a career coach at Wear for Success, an organisation that helps the long-term unemployed or disadvantaged return to work.
As a mentor, I try to help people uncover their sweet spot. When you do things you love, you will excel in your role and find lasting satisfaction in what you do.
You talk with passion, your face lights up – it changes your mindset. You are no longer looking for a job – you are following your vocation – and a prospective employer will see this.
SEND THE ELEVATOR BACK DOWN
When you mentor, it is important to teach your mentees to mentor so that we can create a virtuous cycle. There is no sense keeping wisdom to ourselves. We should wish the next generation can do more and go further than we did so we must nurture our future talent, whoever they are.
As mentors, we all have something to offer. Embrace mentorship, expand your mindset and don't forget to look in places you least expect to find a hidden gem.
Michelle Rayner is executive director, strategy, international & institutional bank at ANZ. You can follow her on Twitter here and LinkedIn here.