Progress makes people happy

Jane KenyonProgress makes people happy – honest!

To say I am a fan of mentoring and peer support is an understatement. I run peer groups for women called Diva Powerteams, I create and lead a national mentoring programme called BIG SISTER for teenage girls, I personally mentor four teenage girls at any one time and I have several mentors in my life at the moment.

I get it, I love it and most importantly I see the impact it has on people from troubled teenagers to dynamic entrepreneurs.

We all need someone to believe in us, challenge us, help us recognise our gifts and skills and inspire us to take that next step. This is about validation. I am reminded of Oprah’s farewell monologue to camera on her final chat show last year. She talked about the common denominator amongst all the thousands of guests she had interviewed from ordinary heroes to global superstars, surprisingly it was about this very subject, validation. She said it made her realise that all anyone really wants is to be seen, be heard and to know that what they say matters. Apparently even the super talented Beyonce as she took her seat in the studio after performing live to a standing ovation, whispered in Oprah’s ear ‘did I do OK?’

To be human is to doubt, we all need to know we matter and we are on the right path. Progress makes people happy and having mental and emotional space to explore our behaviours, values and beliefs alongside charting the course ahead with a trusted confident, is not to be under estimated.

Alongside this one-to-one support personal development can be accelerated by an inspiring and challenging peer group. I am not referring to your best mates. Friends and peers tend to provide different insights and fulfil specific roles in your life. A peer is someone whose opinion you value and therefore tends to be someone in your field, someone you aspire to, or someone on the same journey. For example if you want to be financially wealthy it would be a good idea to have some financially wealthy people in your peer group. If you aspire to be a board director then mixing with other board directors may be prudent and If you are aiming to be a mumpreneur, connecting to other successful mumpreneurs will speed up your journey and provide you with motivation and inspiration.

It is universally recognised we become who we hang around with, so being pro-active and selective about this will make ALL the difference. I run peer groups for women called Diva Powerteams where I invite 12 dynamic women all on a journey of transformation to support and inspire each other over 12 months. We meet four times a year to share challenges and brainstorm solutions, eat, chat and just be present for each other and the results are magical.

The momentum created by engaging with like minded individuals all open and honest and in rapport is awesome. Diva Powerteams create new clients, customers and suppliers; they change team dynamics and fast track new business. The mastermind concept of 12 brains being better than one opens doors to news ideas, new products, brand extensions and more money. Most importantly the level of honesty, authenticity and respect in the room is empowering and to see women step up, change, blossom and shine warms my heart every time, even though I have been facilitating them for years.

So my message is simple. Get a mentor, pay it forward and become a mentor and never under estimate the power of a rocking peer group!

Jane Kenyon is a regular contributor to the3rdimagazine. Connect with Jane via her blog or follow her daily inspirational chatter on twitter @divadomrocks.

2 Comments on Progress makes people happy

  1. I think that the issue of needing validation is so important for many of us and yet we do not realise how important it is. I think that it is something that you have to recognise about yourself and consider how it impacts on your behaviour. We women especially, need to be more confident in our abilities and recognise that external validation has only limited value.

  2. Thanks for an inspiring read. Keep spreading the work on the need for mentoring. Just a point I thought I would add:-

    I am at a point in my business where I really need a mentor. More than anything I need someone who gets me and understands the root of my strengths and weaknesses rather than supposing they know me.

    As a dyslexic woman in business I need someone who has an awareness of dyslexia and a willingness to engage in how it affects me in the positive ways – ‘big picture’ thinking, oblique creative sollutions, ability to cope with ambiguity, and the negative ways – speed of processing of information (both in and out), organisation and dealing with structure and rules. I need the mentoring situation to reflect that and when required compensate for it.

    1 in 5 entrepreneurs in the UK are dyslexic. I am lucky that I am very aware of my needs, but some female business owners who seek mentoring are not. It is common for females not to be recognised as dyslexic at school. I didn’t find out until I was well into my lecturing career and had two children. I regularly assess students in higher education who have been missed, as schools tend to spot only the most obvious cases.

    Michelle Mone is a prime example as she didn’t find out (like many others) that she was dyslexic until her own child was assessed as such. Without recognition of dyslexia – and the strengths and weaknesses it brings to business situations it is more difficult to have accurate self awareness – making a SWOT analysis more difficult.

    Those that are not aware of their dyslexia will perhaps realise that some styles of mentoring work or don’t work for them, but will not be aware of why. The mentor equally may be unaware of why some aspects of what they do work better than others.

    Thanks again for your article…it got me thinking.

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