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How can I increase my chances of being promoted thanks to mentoring?

Mentoring Culture

How can I increase my chances of being promoted thanks to mentoring?

Who is your mentor?

A decade or so ago, my position got me to attend many events related to research funding.

In these events, also often participated one female scientist. She would speak up or ask questions whenever she had the opportunity.

 The area she represented was relevant then and is now – gender equality in science. The only problem is that every time we listened to the same questions, the same reproaches and suggestions repeatedly.

 

I told myself then that I would NEVER become like her. Because when she stood up or raised her hand, everyone around her wanted to scream in despair that they would have to listen to the same thoughts AGAIN.

Now I often wonder if I have become like her because I see mentoring everywhere! 

When I study the situations mentioned in the articles and posts, I keep thinking that:

  • the solution is just about finding a good mentor!

  • this organization needs to sort out its mentoring program because they forgot a critical point 😊

  • etc.

Today, reading articles in the “Harvard Business Review,” I wrote down how simple mentoring would solve the identified problems in four separate places!

I remembered that researcher who talked about gender equality because one of my highlights today was reviewing a study about risks to women’s careers.

The study shows that more women than men who have young children would choose to work full-time from home in recent years.

According to the study’s authors, this is a worrying finding, given the evidence that off-site employees have lower rates of promotion.

What did I note in my review of this study?

The question “How can I increase my chances of promotion through mentoring? “. Even if you work not in the office!

And some answers like – Mentor your colleagues and find different mentors within your organization.

This way:

  • Expand your social network.

  • You will have more “warm contacts” within the organization.

  • There will be more opportunities to develop your competencies. Especially those that are not reflected in your current work.

  • You’ll be more involved in the organization, even if you work from home!

  • You would learn new things, even if you didn’t expect to.

  • You will develop your leadership skills.

The list goes on and on, but you get the idea 😊.

 

Successful organizations are no longer asked, “DO YOU HAVE A MENTORSHIP PROGRAMME?”

 

Asked -” What mentoring programs do you have?”

 

Successful professionals are no longer asked, “DO YOU HAVE A MENTOR?”

 

 

Instead, they are asked, Who is your mentor?

 

 What is your answer?

Can computers (artificial intelligence) be Coaches or Mentors?

Mentoring the 2nd career

Can computers (artificial intelligence) be Coaches or Mentors?

Mentoring and

Technology

  • This was a question I heard one early morning when I joined a conference that had participants from different parts of the world. All of them were someway involved with mentoring or coaching.

So can they ?

We, humans, are learning:

 

  • How to be a Mentor or Coach

 

  • How to listen

 

  • How not to interrupt

 

  • How not to judge

 

 And computers don’t even need to learn any of that!

There were all sorts of opinions, and probably all of them were all right.

The discussion concluded that, at least for the time being, it can only be a great tool for self-reflection. Similar to certain coaching books that offer a sequence of questions, that we can ask ourselves.

Data protection is also worth bearing in mind:

 

  • A mentor or coach will keep all the information discussed during the meeting to himself/herself so that the risk of such information being leaked is minimal.

 

  • With computers, many more people will have access to this data. And that’s not even counting the possibility of data theft.

 

Confidentiality is therefore already considerably weakened.

Perhaps in the near future, we will have more and more of these tools, and there will be somebody who will require them. Just as self-help books are suitable at the moment.

 

What do you think about computers being mentors in our near future?

Well-being thanks to mentoring. How is our health related to mentoring?

Mentoring the 2nd career

Well-being thanks to mentoring. How is our health related to mentoring?

Have you ever thought about how mentoring and your health might be related?

 

Do you feel stressed?

 

Do you have some personal or job-related issues?

 

Are you struggling to communicate with other people? (Colleagues, family, etc.)

Mentoring may help you in all these situations. But how?

  • The mentoring relationship involves the provision of emotional support to the mentee. When you have a Mentor, they listen and give you advice. They also challenge your negative self-views. All this enhances your self-confidence and self-esteem.

 

 

 

  • Mentors may promote your physical health and well-being by engaging in activities with you. For example, if you choose “Walking Mentoring,” you will go with your Mentor for a long walk. You will likely hike somewhere in nature. “Walking Mentoring” can be a significant benefit to your physical and mental health.

 

 

 

  • Mentors may help you deal with relationships that include your parents, siblings, colleagues, etc. They can help you choose strategies to solve problems at work, home, or school.

 

 

 

  • A mentee’s experience of a trusting and close relationship with a mentor helps them create a positive relationship with others.

 

As you can see, Mentoring can be associated with positive health benefits, and relationship outcomes.

What are the similarities between mentoring and an umbrella?

Mentoring the 2nd career

What are the similarities between mentoring and an umbrella?

The benefits of mentoring

I think that everyone could find an umbrella in the house. And most of us carry it around every day, whether in a handbag, backpack, or car.

 

Well, if you don’t carry it with you every day,  you possibly check the daily weather report or look outside the window to check if it will rain or not. If you think that it will rain, you’ll take your umbrella with you for sure.

 

After all, when it’s raining outside, and you need to get from point A to point B, you probably want the journey to be as comfortable as possible. I mean, no one likes getting rain blown into your face by strong gusts of winds.

 

The umbrella may not help you avoid the rain altogether, but it can help you feel more comfortable and safe in this situation.

A mentor also won’t help you to avoid the harsh situations (how we can’t avoid the rain or snowstorms) that await when you:

 

  • Changing your job or looking for new career opportunities;

  • Creating a business;

  • Coming back to your job after a long break;

  • When problems arise in the family;

  • Encountering a difficult disease;

  • Encountering similar situations where you don’t feel good but don’t know how to change it.

 

However, the mentor can hold the umbrella over your head thanks to his experiences and knowledge!

Even if the weather outside is horrible, it is much easier to travel through it with someone who already has some experience traveling.  And with someone who can also lend you an umbrella!

 

 

  • When we are struggling with something, a mentor helps us to see the situation from a different angle;

  • When they notice that we are blinded and heading to a cliff, a mentor can stop us;

  • With their knowledge, they can show us a straight path, so we don’t go down alleyways;

  • When we feel lost and afraid (because there is “thunder, it’s cold, dark, and there is heavy rain” in our life), they show and convince us that not everything is that bad;

  • When we don’t understand something, a mentor give us a question, which takes off our blindfold, and suddenly everything becomes clear;

  • A mentor introduces us to other people who could be our next companions in the future.

 

So mentoring is like an umbrella. It makes the journey from point A to point B much easier!

Have you already started looking for a mentor? 😉

What better not to do in Mentoring? Two strange mistakes that mentee’s make

Mentoring the 2nd career

What better not to do in Mentoring? Two strange mistakes that mentee’s make

How do sometimes mentees surprise Mentors?

I am connected to the TEAMS,  sitting in a  meeting alone and waiting for my mentee to join. But the mentee is not joining.  

        

There are no messages either to inform me that the mentee won’t be able to join.

I send him a message myself informing him that I am in the meeting and asking if everything is okay? No response.

1st mistake

 Mentees are not joining the planned meetings.

Yes, I know that anything can happen. If it’s a case and you can’t be in the meeting, you should call, send a message and warn your mentor that you can’t join.

 

If a situation like this occurs rarely and is not a reoccurring issue, I’m sure that every mentor will understand and reschedule the meeting time.

 

In my situation, this was our second attempted meeting. We planned the first meeting a week ago. With 11 minutes left till the meeting, I received a message from my mentee. It said that he is still not free and that we have to delay the meeting by half an hour or reschedule it for tomorrow.

 

 I couldn’t join later that day, and tomorrow was a Saturday which was not okay for me. We agreed to have the next meeting a week later.

 

Right now, I am sitting in this postponed meeting after one week and writing this very blog.

Well, of course, it’s because I am currently sitting in the meeting alone.

My mentee isn’t here. And this time, he didn’t warn me even 11 minutes before.

 

As my mentee wrote me later, he just forgot this meeting.

2nd mistake

Ask someone to be your mentor when you don’t know why you need this mentor.

Having a mentor has recently become fashionable.

It seems like some people think like that:

I don’t know why I need precisely this mentor, but I will take it if the opportunity arises. If I can participate in some mentoring program and have a mentor for free, I will do it. We’ll see what they can show me. Maybe something will be helpful in the future. ”

 

___________________

 “One day, Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree.

– Which road should I take? – she asked.

His response was a question :

– Where do you want to go?

– I don’t know,  – Alice answered.

– Then, – said the cat, – it doesn’t matter.” (Lewis Carroll, Alice in wonderland )

____________________

 The provided information of what one of my future mentees wishes to achieve during our mentoring reminded me of this dialogue of Alice and the cat.

“I arrived at this program to hear and understand the opinions of different people… “

Later some interests are named – He works in a financing-focused job, there is interest in cryptocurrencies, stocks.

 And not a single one of these subjects falls into my areas of mentoring.

 

 So I continue to try to understand how I can help him.

Once again, I asked him how can I specifically help, and why he chose me. This is the answer I received.

 “One of the main reasons would be the long-term experience you have in mentoring, which by simply talking with you would positively affect my experiences. “.

 

Then he names some more fields he is interested in. Communications, marketing.

None of these fields matched up with my areas of mentoring!

 

What does he expect from me?

“It would be beneficial and nice to hear your story, your faced problems and how you overcame them, what lessons you’ve learned from life, and of course your successful strategies which helped you become what you are now.

 

I stopped asking questions and decided that we would talk everything over in the first meeting.

 

 

Of course, you can object and say that the mentee knew what he wanted from our mentoring relationship. He wanted to hear my life story.

 But mentoring is not listening to someone’s biography.

Yes, the mentor will share his experiences, which will help the mentee make their own decisions in the future.

However, mentoring is a mentor’s and a mentee’s collaborative work.

 

Sometimes, mentoring is needed just for the mentee to set his goal and learn how to be a good mentee😊. Then, for this mentoring, a goal could be to figure out how mentoring could help the mentee or figure out where the mentee wants to go. Then later, it would be easier to look for another mentor who could help them in a different field.

 

 

Let’s not be afraid to name it so like it is. In this case, a mentor is only needed to help the mentee decide what he wants and how mentoring could be helpful.

 

 

But if you expect these experts in many different fields to sit down with you and tell you their stories, share their knowledge while you sit there and listen.

 

Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you. Mentoring is not about that.

 

In mentoring, mentor and mentee are thinking partners. The mentor uses his own experiences and knowledge in a specific field to help the mentee move forward, but the mentee has to bring all the “resources” to the meeting.

When you already have picked a mentor before you even meet him, ask yourself the question, “Why have I chosen this specific mentor, and how can they help me? “

Mentoring Boundaries -When do we have to say STOP in mentoring

Mentoring the 2nd career

Mentoring Boundaries -When do we have to say STOP in mentoring

Are you a mentor who is tired of mentoring ?

“One day, I decided to start mentoring, and I aimed to mentor as well as I possibly could. But I got tired.

 

We have a goal, but I don’t see the result.

 

The problem is that in the meeting, we always jump between topics. The Mentee has many vital questions on that day, and I try to help them. Then I realize that the meeting time is almost over, and we haven’t even started talking about the topic that I am mentoring them.

Sometimes I feel that we are talking and talking, but the conversation is going nowhere. And sometimes, the questions are way out of my field. I can give them advice, of course, but is it really what we have to talk about?”

 

Do you recognize yourself? As a mentor or maybe as a mentee?

 

During mentor’s supervisions, we hear these stories way too often.

I mainly listen to it often from mentors who are mentoring their first, second, or even third.

 

If we have a lot of mentoring experience, we slowly understand that mentoring has its boundaries. If we agree on something, we should follow through with it.

Of course, it’s always good to explore other topics if you think it’s required, but it’s best to stop as soon as possible if it isn’t helpful.

 

Gary Keller and Jay Papasan’s book ” JUST ONE THING”  would be perfect in the list of recommended to read books for mentors and Mentees.

 

The problem is that the mentors want to help their mentees in any way they can. That’s why they sometimes understand just after some time that they are making no progress and that they lost their main goal and topic.

For some mentors, it’s uncomfortable to tell the Mentee that this is not their mentoring topic and that they need to find someone else who could help.

 

No matter how much we want to help our Mentee, it’s important to remember that if you focus on one topic, the results will be way better than covering a tiny bit of multiple issues.

 

When you focus on one thing, then you can quickly understand the value of mentoring!

 

One of the challenges the mentors face is putting up boundaries, making deals with the mentees, and following through with those deals.

Also, a mentor must be able to control the conversation, and when they feel that the conversation has changed the topic, they must be able to come back to the original topic.

 

For the Mentee, it is always important to remember that if they wish to reach a specific point, they often need not one but multiple mentors.

As a mentee, you will change on the journey of mentoring.

That person who could have helped you take your first steps might not be the best mentor for you in the future.

And the other way around. The mentor helping you in the future might not have been good for you at the start.

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