To the Friend, the Colleague and the Mentor…

As with many of us in drawing closer to the end of the year I begin to reflect. 2014 has been a big year; achievements, weddings, promotions, recognition, trials, tribulations, moving house, restructures, new management, to name a few and the list goes on. And in this time of reflection I’m continuously brought back to two things, relationships and communication. Largely the two fit very nicely together, and in this instance it’s the positive in the two I’m focusing on.

In my workplace every December for the past five years we’ve completed the Gallup Q12 Survey. One of the statements “I have a best friend at work” always strikes a chord with staff. Often I wonder what it is about this they find amusing, challenging and/or at times silly? For me it’s very simple – do you have someone at work you can talk to? It’s someone to bounce ideas off, talk through problems or issues; share in wins and the like. I’m sure for most of us there may be more than one person who fits the bill depending on the situation and for others they may have a set ‘go-to’ person. For me there are many; but for the purpose of this piece there’s one in particular I have in mind. She’s a rock, a super star and never ceases to amaze me in her ability to go out of her way to ensure the growth, development and support of others. This person has become a true friend, and in many ways a mentor.

My friend/s. I’m an extrovert so yes there are many, but some that are true treasures that I hold very dear and these are the ones who truly know me. They too have filled all three roles at times – friend, mentor and colleague. Their unquestioning support and at times unasked for opinions are what makes the relationship beautiful and gives me an added confidence in myself and the roads I choose to travel. I back myself 100%, but I wouldn’t be who I am today without these wonderful people to sharing in my life’s journey.

Some years back I had a wonderful mentor, who became a collegue and is now a friend. And similarly a new mentor relationship has evolved through a social media friendship with a like-minded sole who was/is always available for support and conversation, and I’m looking forward to where this road takes us.

And this is my point in many ways. These roles can interchange over the course of time, colleague, mentor, friend. Relationships evolve. To each of these people and these roles thank you. Thank you for the support, for the guidance, for being there and for the lack of judgement. Thank you for seeing me on my own path, nudging me back if I stray over the centre line, for still being there when I’ve taken a wrong turn or veered way off path and had to make a u-turn. Value your relationships. Make time for them and put effort into them. Communicate. Ensure people know how much you appreciate them. Give back…tis the season after all.

With nods to the following for inspiration:


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