He aha te mea nui o te ao?

He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata

This translates to:

What is the most important thing in the world?

It is people, it is people, it is people


This is the Māori whakatauki that Jodie Robertson, Sector Engagement at SociaLink uses when introducing herself in many settings. The whakatauki sums up Jodie’s approach: that at the end of the day, everything we do is about people. This is true in every part of life, particularly in the community sector, and especially in mentoring.

Jodie’s been working with us to connect 10 NFP leaders and managers with appropriate mentors. She’s also no stranger to mentoring, so we caught up with her to talk about her experiences, and some of the benefits of mentoring.


1: Mentoring builds your confidence

Jodie mentors a few people in an informal way. The common thread through these relationships is that they “often have the answers themselves.” In other words, when they come to her with a question, often all she has to do is help them examine their own knowledge, and realise that they already know the answer. “Sometimes all you need is someone to ask the right questions to help you along the way”

This is incredibly useful, because it reminds people of their own capabilities – which are often much higher than they thought! The flow-on effect from this is increased confidence.


2: Mentoring gives you a view of best practice

Jodie was mentored informally by a number of people throughout her career. Looking back, one of the main takeaways from these relationships is that “they demonstrated what good professional practice looks like.” This is relevant for all disciplines, but particularly relevant for Jodie – in her role, she’s constantly connecting people, consulting with people, and bringing people together. “My experience being mentored has had a positive influence on the decisions I make,who I consult, and the right process to take to ensure inclusivity. It has also given me a good view of equity.”


3: Mentoring takes you outside your bubble

The mentoring program that Jodie has set up through SociaLink has connected people to mentors from a range of backgrounds. They’re not necessarily from the same sector as the mentees – in fact, very few, if any of them are from the same sector as their mentees!

This is an advantage of being formally mentored. Formal mentoring programs can connect you to people who can provide you with a lot of value or knowledge, but aren’t necessarily in your “bubble.” This gives you perspective that would not have been available otherwise.

So whether it’s formal or informal, mentoring can have a significant, positive effect on your confidence, career and overall mindset. We are thrilled to be working with Jodie in the Bay of Plenty to connect leaders in the community space to mentors who are passionate and enthusiastic about seeing them grow from good to great.