The importance of mentoring: Appreciate your knowledge and pass it on

Over the years I’ve been really lucky to work with some brilliant people, many of whom have gone on to conquer the world, on a property level anyway!  Some were able to unlock their potential by themselves; others needed some help to coax it out.

I’m an avid reader of social psychology books and have always loved the people development aspect of working in agencies. It’s a great feeling to coach, support and mentor those starting out in the industry or those who’ve reached a bit of a block or are looking for a change of direction.

When you’ve put in your 10,000+ hours (thank you Malcolm Gladwell for that brilliant book) and mastered the art of your particular specialism, then it really is your duty to pass it on.

Pass it on

Yesterday someone asked how long I’d been in the residential property game.   Since 1994, I answered and they turned to me and said “Wow! So you really are an expert! Well, you must do your best to pass it on”.

I took this as a great compliment and tried to forget how old that length of time in the business actually makes me!

Beyond the technical and strategic know-how that I’ve accumulated, I’ve come to realise that people are at the heart of everything I do and that’s why I take time to really get to know individuals before I launch into strategy and operations.

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen and a push in the right direction” John Crawford Crosby.

Hearts and minds first, targets follow

It’s hearts and minds first, then strategic plans and targets follow. This is the order that provides the most positive outcome.

There is nothing more satisfying than giving someone that extra belief in themselves to encourage them to climb as high as they desire.

It’s not all about formal one to one meetings in a typically stuffy board room. It’s about balancing business and personal to get to know the real person. Some of my best meetings have been walking the streets, sitting on park benches in Hyde Park, Wandsworth Common, Great Windsor Park and many a London Square.

The best chats are on the hoof

These snatched conversations and catch ups often provide so many spontaneous ideas and solutions, there’s no time to capture them all on notes in our iPhones!

Apparently we think much quicker and smarter when we’re on our feet and from my experience, we are certainly more creative and open-minded too.

You can’t always achieve this in a meeting or brainstorm session because the environment isn’t always conducive to uninhibited thinking. People feel at ease and freer when walking side by side chatting.

The sun will shine tomorrow

Call me a romantic optimist, but it was instilled in me as a child that in this life, obstacles, blocks and setbacks are simply opportunities waiting to unfold.

They feel so miserable at the time, but as my late father always said, “The sun will shine tomorrow kid”, and it always does.

It’s often said that you can easily identify your passion or key skill from what your friends would say you were like as a child. I was always finding solutions to problems and helping people feel better about themselves with a takeaway plan.

One talented individual that I’m currently working with had a dream to combine her highly creative self into her whole life as her day job is very procedural within a technical organisation.

She was at a crossroads when we met, wondering if she was in the wrong job or indeed the wrong industry entirely. After a few sessions, she realised that she could keep happy and motivated in her day job and combine some creative voluntary projects in her ‘home’ job. And she is doing just that.

All it took was looking at what she wanted from her life as a whole; not separating work and home life as so many do, but seeing it as one complete life and then filling in the gaps to ensure that all aspects were fulfilled.

I’m looking for a new mentee

In the spirit of passing it on, I’m available to help someone new on a voluntary basis from September.  So, if you are London, Surrey or Berkshire based and working within residential property or a related sector and could do with some guidance, please contact me for an initial chat.

Any discussion is in the strictest confidence and if we connect and both feel that we have something to work on together, great!  And if not, well, it was worth a one-off conversation and I’m sure that our paths will cross again.

ZR

+44 (0)7884 475505

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