First of all, let’s make something clear. I, PERSONALLY have not been mentoring sea service families since 1965 But, Naval Services FamilyLine has! We are proud of our heritage - having been founded by the likes of Mrs. Arleigh (Bobbie) Burke and others, in 1965, to support the families of our active-duty, sailors, marines and coasties!
But, mentoring is what we do - and we do it well after almost 50 years! So, yesterday, I spoke to the Naval Officer Spouse Club of D.C. We met for lunch inside the beautiful, new clubhouse of the Army/Navy Country Club in Arlington, VA. There were about 50 navy spouses in attendance. The topic of my lunchtime speech was “Mentoring”. Below, you will find my Part One of my summarized remarks. Enjoy and come back soon to read Part Two! Go FamilyLine!
“Mentoring” (Part One)
Chairman, Naval Services FamilyLine
“We will go over two points:
What is Mentoring? and How can Naval Services FamilyLine help make you a better mentor?
The original concept of a mentor was based on a character from Greek mythology, namely, Homer’s story of the Odyssey. Within this legend, a goddess appears in different forms to help guide, protect and support the journey of the main character of the story. This all-knowing and powerful figure that Homer describes as “Mentor” has shaped our modern day expectations and perceptions of what a mentor does-or more importantly what a mentor should do.
We typically think of mentoring as a valuable facet of the business world, where a basic definition of a mentor is one who helps you reach career goals. But, today, we are focusing on mentoring in respect to helping each other cope with the challenges of a military lifestyle.
My personal definition of a mentor: Someone we have something in common with, who has more experience in that area and is able to communicate those lessons learned to you – without authority – but with friendly guidance.” Mentoring relationships are those in which a more experienced person (young or old) acts as a guide, role model, teacher or sponsor of a less experienced person (protégé’, mentee, or mentoree).
Mentors provide proteges with knowledge, advice, counsel, support and opportunity in the protégé’s pursuits.
I am sure you all have had some wonderful mentors, both men and women, young and old. I have as well. - In my early years, as a career woman and as a navy spouse.
These are my “Top Six” / favorite, most-appreciated and most-forwarded pieces of NAVY SPOUSE advice…
1) Be yourself – (Consistently be true to yourself – be authentic!
2) Tell yourself - this isn’t rocket science. (If you are newly married, if you are new to the navy, if you’re entering into a new role,- whatever the situation, you can figure this out – be confident).
3) Ask yourself - what can we do to make this fun – (alleviate the stress when at all possible).
4) Semper gumby! (Always flexible) (Never fall in love with your plan, because your plan is sure to change).
5) Never wear your spouse’s rank unless...it helps someone truly in need.
6) Remember humility. (You are not above others - and should never consider yourself such. You make mistakes too and you should share them - they make you more approachable.
These have served me well over the years. I know all of you could add a much longer list. So, we’ve put together a starter list of some popular pieces of advice SEE ATTACHED PDF FILE.
And, we would like to hear from you about your favorite pieces of advice given / received. Email us your advice so we may add it. we would like to keep a running list that would be accessible on our new website and social media.
(Stay tuned for Part Two)