Last week was a great week for me. Not only was I able to be a scholar again for the day skipping around London in the sun, I also had the great pleasure of meeting Amanda Mackenzie of Aviva for a truly wonderful mentoring session. This session was due to take place in April but due to illness on my part, it was postponed to a later date when I had shifted from being a scholar to becoming part of the Alumni.
Of course the session was fantastic. I have had the pleasure of being in the same room as Amanda a few times and each time she has been inspirational – last week was no different and I was left again in awe of an amazing woman who does so much but seems to let nothing phase her.
Anyway, the real point of this post was that 16 months on I was able to reflect on my previous mentoring sessions and in particular the questions that I had asked and wanted to share my realisation with the scholars of 2011. Although undoubtedly I have enjoyed each and every session and got so much out of them all, I did find looking back that my approach to questions wasn’t necessarily the right one. When preparing my questions I researched each mentor, found out about their career history, their areas of expertise etc and tailored my questions accordingly. However what I maybe should have done was simply asked questions from the heart, asked the questions that I wanted to ask but didn’t in fear that they would seem obvious to these amazing minds. My session with Amanda reiterated the fact that the best sessions are those where you simply open up, take off the mask and allow yourself to be taken wherever you need to go to get the most out of the session.
You may never get another chance to meet these people so make the most of it and never walk away wishing you’d just asked that one thing that was on your mind….