Muses of the mentor-mentee relationship

(Written by Toastmaster Madhusudhan V)

As I stepped into daffodils, the then VPE said “Suhas will be your mentor”

I had heard of a teacher. But mentor? I wondered…

As days passed, I thought I had written the best script possible. Until, I would send it to Suhas. The revised version that he would send it back never looked like the speech I sent him. He would ensure he retained the essential idea and thought behind the speech, but would present it in a different manner.

Suhas and I developed a bond over the next few months. Ever single line that went into my script was scrutinized. And every time we worked together, he would finish the conversation with the words “if you want a master piece, master the pieces”

Being a mentee helped me gain more insights and taught me different perspectives. It made me more open and welcoming to constructive criticism. Though Suhas and I agreed to disagree on multiple occasions, he ensured I never lost sight of the purpose to be achieved, the best script possible.

My journey from being a mentee to becoming a mentor happened without me realizing the same. It helped me identify the thin line of difference between a teacher and a mentor. I have been taught by some of the best teachers and everyone possessed one quality. They ensured they guided me in the right path.  Whereas mentors not just guides, but take you with them. That’s when I dawned upon me, Suhas was not just mentoring me, but also grooming me to become a potential mentor in the future.

I have been fortunate to have been assigned a few mentees. And every single one of them brings their own uniqueness, creativity and individuality to the table. The bond grows over a period of time and without you realizing, your mentees start mentoring. A proud moment.

Mentoring is fun and enriching at the same time. You are given an added responsibility to mould the growth of another member. The challenge gets tougher especially when the rate of growth of each of your mentees is different. That’s when you stop being a teacher and start being a mentor.

My journey as a mentor has had its own share of memorable moments.

Seeing your mentees grow leaps and bounds from the first to the landmark cc10 speech makes your shed a heart happy tear. Seeing your mentees win all the possible awards in the meeting leaves you awestruck about their eagerness to learn. And winning the Daffodils Premier League makes you feel you have the best set of mentees.

So mentees, the next time you send your script to your mentor, all you have to do is master your pieces.

So that, your mentor can work with you and give you, a master piece.

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