Sat | Dec 10, 2016

Be a mentor!

Published:Wednesday | March 24, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Hi neighbour! About five weeks ago, I met two young men who came highly recommended as top-of-the-line masons. Their father, they said, accounted for their adeptness at their craft. He took them under his wings at an early age and ensured that they did not only develop a skill but a level of proficiency that would keep them in demand at all times. He mentored them until he was satisfied they could hold their own.

I have met quite a number of persons who have been mentored by talented professionals and, trust me, their quality of work is always a cut above the rest.

Since mentorship can make such a huge difference to quality service delivery and, ultimately, customer/client satisfaction, wouldn't you agree that we should have more people mentoring others? It's not only a noble idea, it's a neighbourly gesture! So many workers could have been doing so much better if they had a good mentor - someone who has been there, done that and is willing to impart knowledge.

We have been talking a lot about mentoring programmes for children but not much is being said about mentoring adults. Truth be known, there is an urgent need to start a mentorship programme for many of our so-called professionals, be it formally or informally.

Let me challenge competent neighbours in whatever field of endeavour to make themselves available and accessible to lend a neighbourly hand in this regard.

Different interventions

Point is, there are many masons, carpenters, musicians, teachers, politicians, preachers, lawyers, doctors, etc, who have done their training but have never been mentored by someone who has achieved a high level of proficiency. They are set in their ways and have been delivering mediocre service for a long time without knowing.

Every time a mother-of-five-without-a-father calls or writes me, a family which cannot pay their rent or a couple whose electricity supply has been disconnected contacts me for help, I think of different interventions which could have prevented their dilemma.

Whenever good mentors are in place, some mistakes are not likely to be made. Good mentors see to it that their mentees stay in line by following strict guidelines. They can make the difference between pain and pleasure and sometimes life and death.

Silton Townsend, the author of this column, is better known for his role as 'Maas Gussie' in the 1990s Jamaican sitcom 'Lime Tree Lane'.


Thanks to these neighbours

1. Thanks to Lola (St Thomas) for donating plus-size female clothing to Myrna in St Catherine.

2. Mr Anderson (Youth Empowerment Strategy) for assisting Simone and many other young persons through the programme.

3. Sandra (St James) for offering drapes.

4. Ms Rhodd (St Elizabeth) for giving a double-bed mattress.

5. Karlene (Manchester) for making financial donations to two neighbours in need (We're asking the person who called asking for assistance with a birth certificate to contact our office immediately).

6. Ms Bodly (St Ann) for donating a new queen-size bed to Heather in St Catherine.