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Mentoring Lesson #7: Having Balance

Based on the book, “Learning to Lead Through Mentoring”, this is the seventh in the series of mentoring lessons outlining important topics to consider when approaching a mentoring relationship.  The full transcript of the book can be found on Amazon.  The lessons are intended to help the reader approach mentoring relationships with better perspective and can also be useful to the mentor in guiding the relationship and discussion for their mentee or protégé.

What does it mean to have work/life balance?

An often talked about topic is the concept of having work/life balance and whether or not there is such a thing.  The word balance implies all things are equal, which would mean you were somehow able to have enough time to do all the things you enjoy. An equal amount of time for work, family, friends, hobbies, spirituality, exercise, etc.  Equal is pretty unrealistic.

More recent ideas presented have focused on work/life integration, which presents the theory that once you determine what areas hold importance for you, you can begin to prioritize and honor those priorities and obligations in such a way that only you can determine.  By letting go of unrealistic expectations and focusing on reality, you can honor the areas of importance in a way that is more fitting and realistically achievable.

This is a great topic for an effective mentoring relationship.  Select a mentor who is balancing similar priorities and obligations and ask for tips on how they integrate their work and life.  This can potentially help you determine more reasonable expectations and help release any anxiety associated with the concept of perfect balance.

Here are some questions to consider as you think about your work/life integration plan and the importance of honoring what is most important to you:

  • What are the obligations and responsibilities you are currently juggling?
  • Who are activities you need to do regularly in order to restore YOU?

By cultivating relationships with other mentors with similar obligations and responsibilities, you will be taking an important step in learning firsthand some tools and strategies for effective integration in order to accomplish your personal and professional goals.

At Diverse Talent Strategies, we offer mentoring programs and resources for both individuals and companies.  To learn, more, contact us today.

Alison Martin

Written by

Alison Martin-Books is the Managing Director of Diverse Talent Strategies, a family of brands offering turn-key solutions for mentoring, women’s leadership initiatives, and recruitment. With roughly 15 years in nonprofit work, Martin-Books has a passion for doing work that makes a difference in the lives of others. After serving as Executive Director at two different national nonprofit organizations, her commitment to her passion for developing female talent led her launch Mentoring Women’s Network. In her role, Martin-Books acts as a liaison to a national committee responsible for the leadership development content for the organization and consults with corporations on the development and strategy aligned with initiatives for emerging female leaders. She is also the author of the book, “Landing on My Feet: Learning to Lead Through Mentoring” and speaks regularly on behalf of the organization

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