Symbiotic Mentoring – Part One

You can read the prequel to this blog, here, and Part Two here. 

“Life did not take over the globe by combat, but by networking.”
Dorion Sagan

Knowledge, it’s the theme of uncounted quotes and aphorisms; from its possession being power to a little of it being a dangerous thing. I guess this isn’t really surprising as it’s the basis of our civilisation, regardless of which civilisation you associate with. The accumulation of knowledge over the millennia has enabled humankind to reach every part of the globe and to move further, to the planets and beyond.
Throughout history there have been stories of people gathering knowledge, holding it tight and using it for nefarious purposes. They make for great reading.

Sharing Knowledge is Power

But it isn’t the holding of knowledge that creates power, it’s the passing it on. Enabling others to share in it, to build on it, to keep it moving. To stand on the shoulders of giants is a powerful feeling, and it’s one we can feel every day, if we take the time to think about it.
Which brings me to you. Your knowledge. Inside you is a wealth of knowledge that you have accumulated over your lifetime (I love that the collective noun for knowledge is wealth).
How you choose to use it is, of course, up to you but can I make a suggestion?
I suggest you find someone who has some knowledge you want, some life experience you can grow from, and share it with them. Chances are that they are looking for the knowledge you have. The lessons you have learned.

Symbiotic What?

I like to refer to this as symbiotic mentoring. Why? Well, for a start I think it sounds cool and people say “What did you say?” which lets me keep talking, but more importantly the best mentoring relationships I’ve had were those where knowledge passed back and forth, each of us learning and growing from the other. In a symbiotic relationship both sides gain directly, and when we do that with knowledge, ideas flourish.
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I will be discussing these ideas in a webinar with Trevor Vas and Kevin Wheeler on Thursday the 23rd of April. We will be discussing the importance of knowledge sharing between talent acquisition professionals, and the effect peer to peer mentoring could have on the wider HR community. Sign up to join us in this discussion here.

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