South Windsor Smiles - August 2019

August 2019

Finding the Perfect Mentor And How They Will Help You Succeed

Everyone needs to have an important person to mentor them at least once in their lifetime.These role models offer essential advice or guidance to someone who may have less experience and is actively looking to learn and grow. Over the course of my career, many mentors have helped me get to where I am now, which is amazing.These guides advised me not only in my dental practice but also in many of the activities I’m associated with, including several Boy Scouts programs. In these groups, I’ve both been a participant and worked as someone who helps serve the young men and adults in attendance, encouraging growth and learning in every activity we do.

wet, I found Becker to be an imposing figure and someone I heartily looked up to. What made the biggest impression on me was that he didn’t treat me like I was a dummy, even though I didn’t have near the same level experience he had. Becker was the kind of person who saw my potential, viewing me as a piece of clay that could be molded into something better.This made me feel more confident. When I had the chance to talk with him, I didn’t feel inferior, and he never once treated me that way.Through Becker, I learned that this type of support and communication makes a great mentor, and it’s a good basis for what anyone should look for in an advisor.There needs to be a level playing field for the communication between the novice and mentor, so they are on equal footing. A mentor should never talk down to or penalize someone for not knowing a thing they were never taught.They should encourage, guide, and respect the person who is learning from them. Being comfortable with each other is essential when it comes to a mentorship relationship. If you’re trying to learn from someone who is very intimidating to you, you aren’t going to feel comfortable asking silly questions — which, by the way, there are no silly questions. A true mentor will acknowledge this and encourage their student to inquire about anything they may not completely comprehend. Good mentors will ensure you’re going in the right direction or help open you up to options you haven’t considered or to those you ought to revisit. Whenever I have the opportunity to work with dental students, I always make sure to use the lessons I learned from Becker. I encourage my students to ask questions, using information as a guide to put them back on track without making them feel less about themselves.

This is similar to the work I do through my dental practice, although to a slightly different degree. I’ve had many mentors who helped me

learn about the different areas of dentistry that I now specialize in. I assure you that having the help of multiple mentors in many aspects of your life is hugely beneficial. These inspirational people can help you learn and understand more about whatever specific field you find yourself in, as well as many other activities you’re involved in outside of work.

One mentor in particular comes to mind when I think about all the coaches I’ve had: Irwin Becker. When I first met him, Becker was an elderly gentleman — and I mean a real gentleman — at The Pankey Institute. He was a superb technician and dentist, having worked in the dental field for about 12–15 years at that time. As someone who was just starting to get their feet

Finding the perfect mentor might be a little tricky at first, but once you discover the right person, you’ll be set for life.

–Dr. Kevin Norige


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