Ever wonder why you’re attracted to certain people and what it is about them that appeals?
I learned about “mirror neurons” today, neurons in our body that are precise mimics of situations, actions and experiences that go on around us. From the slightest cues, they pick up intention and emotions from those we surround ourselves with. These biological delights are the reason little kids follow big kids across the monkey bars, why puppies learn to lift their legs to pee and why we are attracted to people with big dreams and high hope.
These mirror neurons explain why we’re biologically inclined to seek out and mimic those who portray confidence and joy, which helps explain why mentoring has had such a huge impact on my life.
Think back to a conversation you had that changed the course of your life.
What was the topic of that conversation? Who was that conversation with? What situation or scenario led you to engage in that conversation and what was the resulting impact of it?
At a networking event last week, Dr. Ravi Gundlapalli asked us this question and it really stuck in my mind. Dr. Ravi is an expert in mentoring and taught us the whats, whys and hows of establishing a strong mentoring relationship. He suggests it likely all started with a simple conversation.
For me, the important conversation was an introduction to a now-mentor from a new-at-the-time contact I’d made in the world of consulting. I was a brand new entrepreneur and it had just become crystal clear to me that entrepreneurship doesn’t pay very well at the beginning. 🙂 I needed supplemental income and quickly!
Enter Colleen Pound, who introduced me to Dawn Manning, who introduced to me to Scott Ackerman, one of my closest mentors and dearest friends. Scott took a chance on me with a three month consulting contract that turned into a 2.5 year engagement, the first of four consulting engagements we would work on together. Still today, Scott is a guiding light for me, a champion for whatever my latest crazy scheme is and always connects me with others who could assist and support me on my journey.
Scott is practical, rational and a visionary. He engages my hope with encouragement and brainstorms ways to overcome obstacles to my dreams. A true mentor, he models behaviors my mirror neurons react to in a really positive way and I’d follow him across the monkey bars anytime.
My first conversation with him truly changed the trajectory of my life from both a professional and personal perspective. The last ten years of my life would have looked very different if it wasn’t for my relatively simple conversation with Scott all those years ago and I’m thankful to have him as a mentor and guide.
Mentorship has always been really important to me but it wasn’t until Dr. Ravi’s thought provoking question that I really reflected on the impact. Who in your life has had an impact and do they know of their importance in your life?