If you’ve ever tuned in to Focus on Suppliers, you know the mission of the show. We talk with business leaders about best practices, case studies, and how to overcome challenges that other suppliers may face. However, the show we aired on February 18 was a little different, and it’s my favorite show to date. We personalized it just for you and your professional development.
We talked with experts about relationship-building, presentation, personality types, team building, and more. One of the highlights was a visit from Tim McCarthy, founder and CEO of WorkPlace Impact. He credits his success in large part to mentoring.
Why Do I Need a Mentor?
McCarthy explains why having a mentor isn’t a perk; it’s a real need. “Not having a mentor is like not having a compass,” he says, “You can only learn so much from books, from your education and training. But a lot of what we learn is what we learn from each other. Mentoring really is that third dimension.”
The value of mentoring is something McCarthy realized early in his career. He shares how a specific time in his journey was particularly eye-opening, “I remember the day I was let go from the company I was with; I was sure it was the worst day of my life. After a nice ‘pity-party’ for about a week or so, I opened myself up. I realized there were a lot of people out there that would be very helpful to me if I was smart enough to go find them and ask them for help.”
The Danger of the “Forced Friendship”
Some companies are so enthusiastic about mentoring that they assign employees to a mentor. If it’s not a perfect fit, McCarthy advises the mentee take the initiative. After all, when it comes to selecting mentors, quantity is a positive.
“In a corporate setting, don’t be afraid to go for quantity,” he encourages, “Just because you’re assigned someone doesn’t mean they’re a perfect fit for you. If you only talk to three people, you have less chance of finding a good mentor and great information than if you had talked with six people.”
No Need to be Shy
When seeking a mentor, don’t worry about rejection! McCarthy says we all naturally appreciate being appreciated.
“Some people make the mistake of thinking, ‘Oh, that person won’t talk to me or give me any advice,’” but, he explains, “People love being asked for their opinion! You can’t help but feel a little honored that someone trusts your opinion and is seeking your advice.”
To see Tim McCarthy’s full interview and get more professional development insight, catch the full Focus On Suppliers episode on YouTube.