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Is mentoring the key to unlocking your potential?

By Claire Thompson-Customer Support & Marketing Manager at GiftRound

Hi there! I'm Claire, a passionate believer in the power of meaningful connections.

With a varied background that has taught me resilience and adaptability, I've learned the importance of maintaining a sense of belonging and community in all aspects of life.

I find joy in bringing people together and helping them express their love and appreciation for one another.

My warm, empathetic nature and strong communication skills allow me to create lasting, positive relationships with those around me. 

I am delighted to write a guest blog for The Crodie Files Podcast. I will share five powerful lessons from my mentoring experience that can help you unlock your personal growth potential. I encourage you to welcome discomfort, recognise your value, communicate effectively, manage up, and learn from failure. Through relatable insights and actionable tips, I aim to inspire you to develop a growth mindset and reach your full potential.


I love being able to distil knowledge as succinctly as possible.  For this reason, I love Jodie’s mantra ‘Network, Learn, Grow’ and I’ve recently reflected on how a School of Marketing mentoring programme I’ve taken part in for nearly two years has empowered me to network, learn, grow and unlock my potential.

Engaging with industry-leading CMOs from companies such as L’Oréal, Aviva, Boots, NatWest, and Sky has pushed me to improve my online networking skills.  Being willing to move into my ‘stretch’ zone has not only invested in my network but I’ve learnt so much from this experience.

Five lessons from mentoring

1. Convert your fear into fuel 

"Success comes from living on the edge of my capabilities"- Astronaut Chris Hatfield

Learning from Chief Marketing Officers of companies I admire required me to be bold and brave, especially when I felt that I wasn’t talented, smart or experienced enough to engage with industry experts.  

I joined GiftRound after an eight-year career break to be with my young children while my husband was in the armed forces, so my feelings of being an imposter were initially overwhelming when I joined the mentoring programme.  Actively contributing to the sessions with the help of pre-written questions helped me realise that I’m not defined by my expertise but by my capabilities and potential.

Listening to industry experts share their experiences of imposter feelings highlighted that our potential is unlocked when we reframe being at the edge of our capabilities as opportunities for growth.  As long as we can get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable, we can convert our fear into a fuel source to ignite that rocket of growth and progress.

2. Know your worth

Your contribution to an organisation has huge potential to enable that business to achieve its goals.

Mentors repeatedly invited us to get very specific about how what we do adds value to much broader goals and helps drive the growth or effective performance of a business.  

The impact of compounding actions is so easily underestimated but I’ve now begun to write daily or weekly ‘high impact actions’ that contribute towards the wider business strategy at GiftRound.  This not only helps me to evidence how my contribution counts towards achieving our overall vision but it’s also super encouraging to reflect at the end of a week or a month on what you’ve achieved.

Assistants are in a unique position that occupies a broad overview of departments within a business and this is a huge asset to an organisation.  Marketers are frequently encouraged to broaden their understanding beyond their department and truly grasp what they are trying to achieve in the business year.   In terms of using this strength to further develop a business, assistants could play a pivotal role in helping team members grasp a more holistic understanding of the departments within a business and their specific objectives to drive growth. 

3. Upskilling your language to support a growth mindset

The way we use words has a huge correlation with our capacity to cultivate a growth mindset.  Developing our ability to use language can support crucial career conversations whether that’s with a CEO or even with ourselves.  

Squiggly Careers has incredible free tools that encourage curious, proactive questioning that can help you position yourself for success.  Developing a growth mindset requires us to harness the power of ‘yet’.  If your next move isn’t coming as quickly as you’d like it, persistence will pay off if you hold faith in the growth process even when the outcome is not yet clear.

4. Managing up

The future isn’t set, it’s our job to shape it and evolve it and success is often determined by an ability to successfully ‘manage up’ in terms of your career development.

  • Inform managers of issues they might need to be aware of but you don’t need them to take any action.

  • Make managers aware of issues that do require their attention and actions needed to enable you to successfully deliver an outcome

  • Ask for help to unblock any roadblocks that are impacting your ability to efficiently achieve your goals

  • Specifically, communicate the areas you’re having a positive impact on and how these contribute to achieving broader business goals

5. Failure is not fatal

Coping with setbacks is a skill we must develop through the awkwardness of making and redeeming our mistakes.  When mistakes happen, take the lesson learnt and move on with a commitment to one action that will move you forward.

  • Don’t let difficult moments define you

  • Be open to difficult feedback

  • We all have blindspots so seek out others’ opinions

  • Use effective questions to ensure that feedback is specific and actionable

" Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed" - Antoine Lavoisier

I’d love to hear how either being a mentor or participating in a mentoring programme has helped you unlock your potential and the key lessons you learnt from it, please leave a comment below or get in touch at or via Craig & Jodie.

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