“If I had followed the path I had planned, I might not have reached my goal.”
While we are waiting for the gathering in person, we met with the mentees of the current 6th cycle at another online coffee and in an informal atmosphere talked about their work with mentors, the challenges they now face, personal expectations, and insights gained in this process. The participants were supported by the “Creative Mentorship” team.
During the conversation, we touched on several important topics related to mentorship and the mentoring relationship, such as the beliefs they recognized as limiting or the challenges of working on themselves, which the mentoring relationship requires.
This was also an opportunity to recall the mentoring tools and various techniques that were presented at the very beginning of the cycle, as part of the kick-off training in November. Dragana Jevtić, co-founder and director of “Creative Mentorship”, encouraged participants to ask specific and open questions, even if they indicate vulnerability. It is the vulnerability that we can feel within the mentoring relationship that is an important resource because it can lead to us arranging things first, and then accepting and internalizing them completely. In that way, the mentors gain a better insight into their needs, and then into the next stages that should be implemented on the way to achieving the goal.
Focused and structured work is especially important during the year of the program. Working on oneself, thinking through, and shaping tasks between meetings with their mentors, working on the context within which the goal they are striving for, are imperatives for mentors.
Furthermore, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that the mentoring relationship is a relationship between two people, and that it is subject to change, disagreement, and differences. Learning how to communicate, reconcile or overcome them is an important step in working together. By being open to the mentor, we leave room to gain a new perspective, recognize qualities that we did not know we possessed, and gain and provide support.
Finally, together with the participants, we were reminded that it is fine to change of the initial goal and plan – it does not represent a failure. It is much more important to give ourselves space and time to put everything in order, get stronger and find our own direction.
In addition to direct exchanges related to work with mentors, participants also had the opportunity to share news about their work, and projects, and also to connect and recognize opportunities for cooperation between them.