Believe it or not, the movie The Karate Kid has influenced what most of us expect from mentoring relationships.
Mr. Miyagi takes young Daniel LaRusso, the underweight outsider bullied in his new school, under his wing. With patience and commitment, Mr. Miyagi teaches Daniel about succeeding in martial arts and life.
Wax on. Wax off.
By the end of the movie, Daniel’s life has been transformed.
In the real world, mentoring takes many forms and it doesn’t always conform to popular preconceptions. The current landscape of our profession requires us to stay on our toes. Knowledge sharing enriches us all. Developing mentoring relationships can be a rewarding experience for the protégé (I hate the word “mentee”) as well as the mentor.
Mentoring is simply when someone helps someone else learn something. The image many of us have of seasoned pros forming lifelong bonds with fresh-faced college graduates, helping them navigate the peaks and valleys of their careers is a limited view of what mentoring has to offer. A mentor is also not responsible for helping a protégé find a new job.
In the real world, mutually beneficial relationships can develop between peers, or around a specific topic or issue that one professional faces in his or her career. Throughout your career, expect your mentoring needs to change.
At the April luncheon, the PRSA Houston chapter will offer a different type of program and provide a venue for informal mentoring.
Rather than our typical speaker presentation, we will facilitate conversations at the luncheon tables with several of Houston’s PR sages. This format provides a unique opportunity for attendees to tap into the minds of some of Houston best-known PR professionals — leaders of their fields in a variety of industries.
Around the table, PRSA Houston members and guests will also have opportunities to exchange ideas and information around shared interests that will undoubtedly promote peer-to-peer mentoring and help expand professional networks like few other events could.
While the idea of finding your Mr. Miyagi may seem as unrealistic as mastering the “crane kick,” open your mind to the many possibilities mentoring has to offer and you’re sure to reap the benefits.
Stephanie Dedeaux, APR is an independent public relations consultant and 2010 PRSA Houston chapter president.