Our mentors do so much to support younger members of our industry and with National Mentoring Day approaching we wanted to hear from some of them. First up in our spotlight is Graham Cox MIH.
Why did you decide to get involved in Mentor Me?
I have looked at mentoring programmes before but have never found time to make them a reality – I have COVID-19 to thank for giving me that time and also the Institute of Hospitality (IoH) for suggesting I join the programme. Mentoring is something you do subconsciously as a leader and also as part of developing team members – you are a living example of how certain approaches to work and life play out.
Therefore, the opportunity to be proactive in mentoring with a well-structured programme from IoH was something I had no intention of missing out on!
What have you enjoyed most about being a mentor?
First and foremost, meeting amazing young people (virtually at present) with talent and potential, who I know will benefit from my experience of over 30 years of working in the industry. If I had had the opportunity to work through a mentoring programme like this in my 20’s, I would without a doubt have avoided a number of situations that held me back in various roles.
Has it helped you to develop your own skills?
Predominantly it has reminded me that we are never good enough at listening. Good mentors and coaches should listen to allow their mentees to talk about where they are and develop their own solutions to challenges. It has also served as an opportunity to re-evaluate my own skillset and focus on areas of improvement.
What’s the best piece of advice you have given your mentee?
To treat all feedback, whether from peers or bosses, interviewers or clients, both positive and negative, as the fuel to drive the vehicle of your career in the direction you want to go. Use every comment to your advantage and make informed choices about the road you are taking.
What would you say to someone considering getting involved?
Just do it – it is a win-win for both mentor and mentee. You will come out feeling more connected with the wider world and have made a significant difference to a young person’s working life.