an experienced and trusted adviser

 What does it really mean to be a mentor? The definition above is very basic however the word, trusted, can’t be taken lightly. Just recently I had the honor to sit through a day of inspiring talks at the TEDxIndianapolis event. The last speaker, Patti Digh, blew me away. She was able to convey in 20 minutes what trust really means. Her talk was titled, “Grant Specificity to the Other” and she ended her talk with a group exercise which consisted of the following: 1.) Stand up and face the person standing next to you and look them in the eyes.  2.) Close your eyes and think back on all of your experiences that have led to who you are today.  3.) Open your eyes and look at the person and  recognize that the person next to you has a story just like you and that is the connection that needs to be respected and acknowledged.  What I observed after completing the exercise were tears, smiles, hand shakes and hugs. In less than 20 minutes she was able to bring a room of 1,000 plus strangers closer together by helping us see the person through a different lens. How does this relate to my role as a mentor? As a woman I need to be trusted by all women not to judge, criticize and ridicule. Instead, I need to remember that we all have a story and respect all women for theirs. To illustrate the power of Patti’s talk I ask the following questions: Think of a time when you lacked confidence. Think of a time when you failed. Think of a time when you felt disrespected. Think of a time when you were misunderstood. Think of a time when you felt extreme happiness. Think of a time when you achieved a goal. Think of a time when someone took time out to help you. Think of the person who has supported you the most. The challenge to myself and you is to never forget your story. In fact, share your story to others who may benefit from hearing it and challenge yourself to mentor from a place of trust.   Post by Elisa Hudson. Elisa is an HR professional who is passionate about helping others gain perspective through a different lens. Her years of coaching managers through complex situations has allowed her to hone her skills on getting to the root cause and offering sound solutions. Elisa is currently working on getting to the root cause of why her ten year old son, Bing continues to have a messy room and coach him to be the boy she knows he is capable of being. Elisa Hudson

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