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General Mentoring

Mentoring—In a Time of Inconvenience

The sound of a yelp, scream, sigh, and or moan in the background of the house lately reminds me of what it must be like to be in an uncomfortable situation, out of one’s comfort zone. I know many of us yearn for a sense of normalcy, however, the reality is that sense maybe further away than we all hope. Our new reality is filled with uncomfortable situations, and a test of our patience for things we use to be able to overlook with ease.

I now find myself sighing in disappointment every time my mind wants to verbalize a complaint, as if I do not fully understand the difference between an inconvenience and a true problem. Many of us do not recognize what true problems are during a time of crisis, because we tend to focus too much on ourselves, and not what is impacting others around us. Are we a culture of selfless individuals? Do we have the capacity to think of others in a time of crisis, and if so, why do we tend to focus on things that tend to be trivial in the big picture?

The inconvenience of ME!

An inconvenience means to have trouble or difficulty caused to one’s personal requirements or comfort. I dare say, we all could think of many things right now that are taking away from life’s normal comforts but being able to wake every morning and take a breath is thankfully not one of them. So, what is so different about this pandemic that has us creating problems that we are not personally experiencing. The following list, is just some of the real problems that individuals are encountering at this moment:

  1. Contracting the virus, and being gravely ill, — praying for restored health for and protection over loved ones, and healing mercy for those who have suffered loss.
  2. A lack of access to healthcare and paid sick leave are among the concerns.
  3. Working in our nation’s hospitals, being a healthcare worker, essential employees, janitorial services, government officials etc.–
  4. Job loss, furloughs, and not knowing where your next paycheck is going to come from, and what the economic crisis may cause to your future employment options, or having your entrepreneurial dreams fade away–
  5. Not being able to work from home and having to address childcare challenges and homeschooling.
  6. Having to social distance from loved ones, sick, elderly, and shut in, with no clear end in sight.
  7. Missing some of the major milestones in life, graduation, proms, weddings, funerals—

As referenced above these real challenges, are not an all-inclusive list, these are just some things which tend to ask us to rely on our faith, and a belief system, that this too shall pass. If this pandemic is causing an inconvenience to you, are you saying that you are enduring problems and difficulties that you cannot overcome? Will you be owed an apology, after things get back to normal, and if so, who will you want that apology to come from? Let us just marinate on that for a moment.

Our lives are built with so many ups and downs, but I believe some of us are tested by how we overcome not only the tough situations, but how we rise through the ashes of the most inconvenient situations. From social media, to our daily news briefings and local media televisions stations, folk are sharing stories of inspiration, and triumph from unsung heroes, who are overcoming challenges, during this difficult time. Have you asked yourself lately, how can I help, what could I be doing to contribute at this most inconvenient time?

The Importance of YOU-And adjusting to your new normal

I know for many this is an incredibly difficult time. You are being asked to do things with less, and very much out of ones’ comfort zones. So, an individual charge, and inspiring thought might be to find balance in your life, through some of the simple pleasures, and then take time to share with other ways that these things can bring joy.

  1. It’s during this time, that Mentoring comes to mind, I know we all know someone who is going through some mentally challenges things, that could use the sound of a strong voice to encourage them and inspire them to keep going.  Mentoring works.
  2. My family and I, spread across three different countries have a Zoom, and or Google Duo, meeting on Sunday afternoons, this is something we did sporadically before, but provides us a great deal of joy and laughter at the beginning of the week;
  3. Send some unexpected flowers, notes, and cards, during this time. After, going to the mailbox and de-sanitizing the mail, nothing brings more joy than getting a card from a friend, or family member, that just had you on their mind. Words matter, so much now, and always will.
  4. Have a work team meeting with appropriate PJ’s on, there’s nothing more humorous, that seeing your co-workers bed head, and listening to them provide you an update of an incredibly important project at the same time.—No pictures please.
  5. Thank a few people with genuine thoughts, I think folk are really listening, right now, that’s the odd thing about self-imposed isolation, it causes you to think, slow down, and sometimes thank people that have done things for you and never asked for any acknowledgement.
  6. Finally, smile a lot and use FaceTime, it is priceless during these inconvenient times. And is extremely helpful in lifting peoples spirits.

Again, these lists, could go on, and on, if not for the fact that its mine, and I am almost assured that your list is much better and longer. However, pay it forward, please feel free to take one or two of these, I borrowed a couple of items from a Mentor myself. If you have something else that works for you, fell free to share in the comment section below.

A Final Thought

One of the most powerful gifts we each have is the ability to move through inconvenience and rise in midst of adversity and real problems. Be sure to recognize those moments when you can slow down, breathe a sigh of relief that you are not dwelling and complaining about things that you can overcome. Putting others above our own inconveniences is a gift and a tool, that we will be able to draw on for years to come. Take the time to pay it forward right now, not later, you will be proud that you did now, and lived life without regrets.

If you or your organization would like to find out more about executive leadership coaching, behavioral personality assessments, and mentoring, and how a mentoring program can help bridge the gaps experienced from missing employee engagement please reach out and connect with us at Coley & Associates. We are here to help move your organization forward, and we are passionate about what we do and committed to making a positive difference in our customers’ businesses and the world around us. 

By Janet Williams

As Director of Human Capital and Performance Consulting for Coley & Associates, Dr. Janet E. Williams provides Government clients and commercial companies insight on how to leverage resources and maximize services for improvements to company operations. She specializes in mentoring, progressive management process improvements, accountability and control, revenue enhancements, and other organizational change methods. For almost 20 years, Dr. Williams worked in government and head an Emerging Leaders Program for mentoring youth. Janet holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Hampton University a MBA from Troy State University, and her doctorate in Public Policy and Leadership from Walden University.

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