The Power Of Mentorship: “Two Hours With The Coach”

Decimon Wandera, Senior Leadership Development Officer, during an outdoor class session in 2020

Undebatably, the aspect of coaching and mentoring is uncommon in the Ugandan context. For the past few days, I spent quality time making phone calls to a few close friends in my circle and tried to find out if coaching or mentorship programs really featured in their different career paths and their responses weren’t eerier to my ears.

Coaching and mentoring personnel are still odd in the work environment. Drawing from my own past work-related experience and research, this significant device to spur productivity, achieve organizational goals and objectives, and attain meaningful employee personal development is still lacking for the vast majority of employers.

Usually, I have always portrayed a high level of confidence in describing my curriculum vitae for a chance to be a part of a former winning team and in the end, struggled at delivering the required services not because I wasn’t the ideal candidate for the task but because I didn’t have that one coach and mentor to help me rediscover my potentials, have a work-life-balance and soar.

I am in the Teach For Uganda Fellowship and I am confident about an all-around growth both in the Fellowship and after. I am benefiting from the extraordinary guidance of important personalities through their coaching and mentorship. On hero’s day, my hero was my own coach and mentor; Mr. Decimon Wandera, a senior leadership development officer at Teach For Uganda.

I had an incredible two-hour chat with him about the challenges I was facing in the Fellowship right from the difficulties of working in a community where the educational needs of many children aren’t prioritized, my personal health battles, and worries about my father’s critical diabetic condition.

From his vast shared experiences and advice, I was able to reflect on and celebrate achievements however small they may be. Further, build my communication skills, rewrite my vision, learn to own my mistakes, and rediscover myself further.

The strategic intent of organizations shouldn’t be centered around the quality and quantity of employee service delivery but on their personal growth. Are they able to communicate openly, entrust you with their personal challenges, grow innate skills in-line with their abilities, and hobbies that they are passionate about, and reach their career aspirations through deliberate coaching and mentorship?

If these potent ideas are critically embraced and our ego buried, then we would realize that work shouldn’t be centered on the employer’s goals, but also the employee growth.

Written by: Catherine Kantono
Teach For Uganda Cohort 4 Fellow

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Teach For Uganda

We are nurturing a movement of leaders who are committed to advancing equitable access to quality education in low-income communities.