February 6th, 2021 was the toughest day that I have ever experienced and a day that was filled with sadness, sorrow and a whole bunch of unknown. That was the day that I lost Debra, my partner for life to cancer. She had so much more love to share with others for her to be gone. We had so much more living to do, things to see, places to go. She was only 62 and it wasn’t her time yet to depart, or so I thought. So early – it wasn’t fair. I asked myself over and over again what could I have done to change the outcome. I was to be her protector and I obviously had failed. Why couldn’t it have been me. What was the criteria that had Debra pass before me? Did I do something wrong that factored in to why she was to pass before me.

All these questions kept percolating in my mind as I tried to rationalize what had taken place and begin the grieving process. I struggled with believing that there was a process that I would have to go through. All the things that would need to be taken care of – that we were going to do together now rested on my shoulders. Why didn’t I get the extra time to spend with her to tell her how much I loved her and how much she means to me. Life without her would seem meaningless – there would be no purpose in what I would do. I would go through the day on auto-pilot.

Over a year has past and I spend a lot of my days filled with memories of things we did together and days where we shared what each other had done. We laughed, offered advice, listened and sometimes cried together at different lived experiences we had been a part of that day. Some were success stories, some were things we needed to work on, and some were learnings that each had experienced that would make our relationship stronger. Now all of that are memories. This is part of that grieving process.

Were those memories going to be strong enough to help me get to wherever it is that I am suppose to be going without Debra by my side? Little things seem to kick my emotions into overdrive and I wonder if I am loosing my mind some days. My mental sharpness is not what it was and that worries me.

I drive past the hospital where she had passed and it triggers memories of my back and forth to the hospital to visit her and eventually for her to pass. Tears run down my cheeks as I drive past where I had parked my car to go and spend time with her. The window where I had remote started my car from so I could go home and grab a couple of hours sleep before going back to the hospital.

I had moments where I was depressed especially when I tried to imagine what life would be like without Debra. I kept asking myself what could I have done different or better. Some things there are no real answers for the many questions that I had. People tell me that I just need to keep moving. Moving where and why? More questions.

I look forward to Monday as I can focus my attention on work related activities. I hate week-ends as I find myself alone. Week-ends were a special time as Debra and I would do all kinds of things but we did them together. That togetherness was priceless – even more so now.

I have noticed that my mental health isn’t where I think it should be. I wanted to share with you what I have been going through as mental health is a significant issue today and we don’t seem to be allocating the time to it that we should.

I am just one person and I was able to get closure but not everyone is that fortunate. Think of the 5.9M people that died due to COVID and all their families that may not have been able to get closure. Debra passed in February and we could not celebrate her life until August. Some people were not even able to do that. Not getting closure plays on your mental health and mental well-being. Think of the families of the approximately 59M people that die annually and the impact that it has on their friends and families. It is no wonder that our mental health is in the state that it is.

Just having someone to talk to is so important. Someone that is non-judgmental. Someone that can build a trusted relationship with you. That is where having a mentor that will walk beside you as you begin your healing journey. Grief is part of your mental health and mental well-being and mentoring can be a part of your support structure. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. It is so important that you tap into a support structure which would include a mentor and work together on your healing journey.

Mentoring and your mental health – a journey of healing and support.

https://www.camh.ca/en/camh-news-and-stories/coping-with-loss-and-grief

https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/number-of-deaths-per-year

 

 

Mentoring is the practice of helping a mentee learn and grow personally and professionally while navigating through change and challenge.

There is much debate whether a mentor can be effective for their mentee if they have not already lived through a similar experience. This is called lived experience.

“Lived experience refers to a representation of the experiences and choices of a given person, and the knowledge that they gain from these experiences and choices.” (Wikipedia definition)

What do you think? Should mentors without lived experience mentor outside their experience?

My easy answer is that having industry experience is a nice to have, not a need to have; that industry specific experience is not required to bring value to the mentoring arrangement.

My longer answer is

The primary goal for a mentor is to establish a trusted relationship with the mentee. In order to develop that level of trust the mentor utilizes the Questioning Technique (Socratic Method) by asking a series of questions about the mentee, about the organization they work for, and about the role/function they’re responsible for.

By building this level of trust the mentor demonstrates their interest in the mentee, solidifying the relationship and unlocking critical information and details to move forward in their mentoring arrangement.

My Direct Experience

I have worked with people from many different industries over the course of my career. I have had great success with individuals using the questioning technique of the Socratic Method to discover a deeper, richer understanding of who each individual is, where they work, and the challenges they face.

My own direct lived experience comes into play with being able to story tell/story share my lived experiences in order to guide my mentee along their journey. I try to make sure that my stories are relatable and provide some context for the mentee to reflect on.

Some of the outcomes that you may realize from using this technique is that your mentee may experience a higher level of self-esteem and self-confidence. Your mentee may feel safe in your presence as they reflect on the experiences that you have shared, the outcomes you realized and the impact it had on them overall. I have had mentees go back to work in a positive state of mind resulting in them being more productive.

Going into this arrangement with industry specific experience I would have had some bias that would have impacted the arrangement. I would not have made the gains in building a trusted relationship that I did without the industry specific experience. My mentee would have missed out on the reflective exercises and would not have had that sense or feeling of safety as a result of this process.

In conclusion, not having industry specific experience actually creates a deeper, richer mentoring experience for the mentee and the mentor.  This is accomplished through the questioning technique as it probes deeper into the behaviors and challenges that the mentee has been exposed to. The mentor is able to get to the root cause and initiate a behavior change that results in the mentee returning to the productive employee that they were.  WHY?!

If you would like to learn more about this topic contact me to set up a time for us to chat.

For more information about Mentoring Lived Experience and other Mentoring topics - feel free to set up a Zoom call at your convenience through my Calendly link; https://calendly.com/doug-lawrence

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Doug Lawrence is the founder of TalentC® and Co-founder of the International Mentor Community.

Doug leads organizations to experience the benefits how mentoring will encourage workforce culture to flow in harmony (mentors), improve productivity from employees (mentees), reducing costly employee onboarding improving the bottom line (organizations).

Doug is an International Certified Mentor, and has obtained his Certificate of Achievement – Mentoring and his Certificate of Competence – Mentor from the International Mentoring Community (IMC). Doug is currently obtaining his Certificate of Competence – Journey Mentor.

Doug’s Practice of Mentoring has resulted in his accumulation of 2,000 hours of mentoring (in person and virtual), 197 hours of speaking opportunities and 672 hours teaching others how to effectively mentor.

Doug is a volunteer mentor with the Sir Richard Branson Entrepreneur Program in the Caribbean and with the American Corporate Partners in the United States working with military personnel in their transition from military life to civilian life. Doug is currently working with researchers to examine the role of mentoring as a support for those struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). His experience in law enforcement coupled with working with people suffering from PTSD has afforded him a unique view of mentoring and PTSD.

Doug is an international speaker and author about all facets of Mentoring. He published “The Gift of Mentoring” in 2014 with his second book set to publish in 2020.

Doug works with organizations to establish mentoring programs, influence mentoring as a culture, and provides one-on-one direct mentoring for individuals of all backgrounds and levels globally.

Contact Doug directly to discover how mentoring can improve your organization.

>>  https://calendly.com/doug-lawrence

 

 

INTERNATIONAL MENTORING COMMUNITY: What is it and How Can You Benefit from It?

 

 

 

 

 

I am asked on numerous occasions to respond to questions regarding mentoring, mentoring process and how mentoring can bring value to individuals and/or organizations. Here are some of those questions and my responses.

Q: What’s in it for someone who mentors fellow professionals for free?

A: I have a mix of people that I am in a mentoring partnership with - some that pay for the service and some that I provide the service at no cost. I view that as a way that I can give back.

I firmly believe that it is not about me and my focus needs to be on the person I am being of service to.

I don’t want you to be misguided however as I always come away with learning something from the time I spend with someone. It can be about them, the mentoring process or about myself. Seeing someone else grow whether on a personal or professional note is rewarding enough.

One of the things that I always focus on and always ask the question is, “what was the value that we got from our time together today?” The answer to that question is “what’s in it for me.”

Q: How do you mentor junior project managers?

A: This is a question that I get asked a lot and it always focuses on the myth that I need to have experience in a particular field before I can mentor someone from that industry.

I mentor people in all different industries and sectors and I do not have experience in some of those areas. As a result of being open to learning and asking the right questions I am gaining that knowledge through the mentoring partnerships that I have.

Mentoring is a two way trusted relationship where both parties of the mentoring partnership learn and grow on a personal and professional basis. The mentoring of a junior Project Manager would basically require that you follow proper mentoring concepts. You guide through the asking of the right questions to help the person develop or enhance critical thinking skills. Through the asking of those questions you will gain knowledge in the job and the industry that the PM is working in.

What I have found that is the most important task is making sure that you focus on the personal growth at the beginning of the relationship. I have seen far too often that when we don’t address the personal challenges the relationship slowly begins to erode and fall apart.

Q: Do you have a mentor? If you do, how did they become your mentor?

A: I have a number of mentors each who address a specific need or they are capable of addressing more than one specific need.

Some of the mentors that I have had or currently have were as a result of participating in an entrepreneurial start up program where mentoring is a key service that is provided.

Some of the mentors I have today are those that I found through work related relationships and the sense that they could fill a void that I may have. Because of my function as a Certified Competent Mentor and providing of that service to others I have become very particular about who I ask to become one of my mentors.

I am truly blessed to have the mentors that I do as part of my mentoring partnerships.

Q: How would the world be without mentors?

A: I honestly don’t believe that we have tapped into the full potential of mentoring. There is still some confusion as to what mentoring is all about and a lot of people are unsure of how to unlock mentoring in their organization.

I facilitate a mentoring circle every two weeks and we discuss what would life be like without mentoring. We have lots of great examples of where mentoring has been of value but the uncertainty is still there as some struggle understanding the full potential.

My best example of what it would be like is to illustrate what it could be like if we truly embraced the “gift of mentoring”. Imagine a world where mentoring was in place right from the very moment you are brought into the world. Mentoring would begin in the home. As you embarked on your educational journey you got to experience mentoring in the schools. Mentoring that followed you through to your journey to higher education and finally into the corporate world. You would be experiencing a nation, a country, a world that pride’s itself on learning and the sharing of that learning with others through the “gift of mentoring”.

When you picture that and fully embrace the “gift of mentoring” and what it has the potential to do I believe we have painted a picture of what it COULD be like rather than what it is WITHOUT it.  Ask yourself - “can we afford not to?”

Q: What is the best way to find a mentor for my business?

A: There are a number of ways that you can search for and find a mentor. You need to determine first however what it is that you need. You also have to come to terms with the fact that your mentor(s) do not need your industry specific knowledge. It is a nice to have - not a need to have. I am mentoring a number of people in different industries/sectors and we are moving forward with no difficulty.

Check with your local business community to see if there are any mentoring programs where they match mentors and mentees. You can also look on line for various organizations that provide business mentoring.

You may also want to explore a referral. I get a number of people being referred to me so we can begin to discuss whether or not we could work together in a mentoring relationship.

Once you think you have found someone it is really important to explore whether or not there is chemistry between the two of you as without that your relationship will struggle. Make sure you define expectations on both parts. Understand that some mentors charge for their services - if that is the case then you need to do some additional checks to make sure that you will receive value for that service.

Make sure that you are committed to the mentoring relationship and are willing to do the work that is required to be successful on a personal and professional level.

Q: Do you think achieving your goals is the result of mentoring, network connections or luck?

A: When I look back over my career and all of my accomplishments I would have to say that it is a little of all three. My network has provided me with some open doors which has resulted in being able to make a difference. Some of my accomplishments have been luck or more about being in the right place at the right time. Overall though mentoring has been the most consistent process in helping me achieve my goals and continues to do so today. Working with a great mentor is a blessing and is something that we need to commit to the journey. If you don’t commit then you will only see minimal benefits.

Q: What people skills have you learned from a mentor?

A: There are a number of skills that I have learned as a result of mentoring whether it be as a mentor or the recipient of great mentoring. I see everyone as unique and I need to tailor my leadership skills to each person on an individual basis. Mentoring is much the same. Another set of skills that I have learned and how share as part of my mentoring process/technique is “effective communication”. “Effective communication” takes into account active listening - listening and hearing what the other person is saying, listening for trigger words and deflections in the conversation, learning to pause and reflect before speaking - “how is what I am about to say going to be received? “The use of the Socratic Method - asking questions instead of telling someone how to do something.

The list goes on from here. Understanding people and how they communicate is a leadership skill as well as that of an extraordinary mentor.

Q: What is your best advice for someone who is thinking of mentoring others?

A: One of the things that I always recommend to anyone interested in the mentoring process is that if at all possible get some training on mentoring techniques and processes. You will find that by doing so you are able to create a deeper, richer mentoring experience not only for yourself but the person you are going to be mentoring.

Be open to learn as well. With each mentoring session that I do I come away having learned something about the person I am working with or about myself.  I then use that in my reflection that I do before and after each mentoring session.

Be committed to the process and to the person that you are going to be mentoring. Do not impose your expectations on your mentee but seek to understand their expectations and ability to meet those expectations. There are a number of moving parts in the mentoring process.

Most importantly enjoy the journey!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the course of the last 12 months or so I have been working on taking my calling – “the gift of mentoring” to a higher level. I wanted to create that deeper, richer mentoring experience for those that I touched through mentoring. I wanted to share that gift globally and invite others to join me on this exciting journey.

I partnered with the International Mentoring Community and together we have created the Certification of Achievement – Mentoring and the Certification of Competence – Mentor.  I recently completed both programs and I am pleased to announce that I have received my Certificate of Achievement – Mentoring (June 2018) and my Certificate of Competence – Mentor (December 2018). I am now Certified Competent as a Mentor following the competence verification process within the Mentor Certification Process.

The Mentor Certification Process is framed by “68 Action_Outcome Statements.” These statements highlight a series of actions and outcomes used to confirm competence of a mentor and/or guide development-implementation-evaluation of a workplace mentoring program.

These Action_Outcome Statements were written after an extensive review by the International Mentoring Community. This review was completed within the parameters of ISO Regulation 17001.

My journey continues to evolve as I work with so many marvelous people to help them grow on a personal and professional basis. I am honored to bring mentoring to organizations and to work with their employees to help them become more productive and engaged in their organization.

I am here to be of service whether in the capacity as a mentor one on one, implementing workplace mentoring, providing our new mentoring vs termination service or providing insight and guidance regarding the certification process to people and organizations.

 

To learn more about the International Mentoring Community and The Mentor Certification Process and how it will benefit you, your employees, and your organization, feel free to book a complimentary 30-minute Mentoring Consultation (via call or video)  >>  https://calendly.com/doug-lawrence

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL MENTORING COMMUNITY: What is it and How Can You Benefit from It?TalentC is wholeheartedly involved in the International Mentoring Community, which sets the standards and verification system (Certification) to produce competent mentors.

 

 

 

What is the International Mentoring Community?

Before jumping into what the International Mentoring Community is, we must first define what each term means separately. We do this because “mentoring” has been thrown around to mean different things when its true meaning is as follows:

Mentoring is defined as a two way trusted relationship where the mentor and mentee learn and grow together on a personal and professional basis as the mentee draws appropriate ideas and insights, and tools and techniques from the lived experience of the mentor.

Community is defined as a group of people having a particular characteristic in common. A community helps prepare people for challenges that lie ahead. There is a feeling of fellowship as a result of common attitudes, interests, and goals.

The International Mentoring Community is the premier mentor community to learn about the advantages and benefits of mentorship, mentoring, serving as a mentor, and becoming a mentee. It offers resources and tools to identify the ROI to support the implementation of a customized workplace mentoring program. Of particular importance in the fast paced work places of today, mentoring is a way to reduce employee turnover costs association with termination and resignation.

The International Mentoring Community offers certification about mentorship concepts, experiences, and the practices of serving as a mentor.

What is the Mentor Certification Process?

 

The Mentor Certification Process provides mentors and mentees with a deeper, richer experience.

The Mentor Certification Process is framed by “68 Action_Outcome Statements.” These statements highlight a series of actions and outcomes used to confirm competence of a mentor and/or implementation-evaluation of a workplace mentoring program.

These Action_Outcome Statements were written after an extensive review by the International Mentoring Community. This review was completed within the parameters of ISO Regulation 17001.

The 68 Action_Outcome Statements
are split into 7 Mentor Certification Modules and identifies:

  1. About Mentor
  2. Mentor Characteristics
  3. Mentoring Arrangement
  4. Support Mentee
  5. Mentoring Tools and Techniques
  6. Mentoring Education and Learning
  7. Certification

The International Mentoring Community guides:

The International Mentoring Community offers managers, leaders and employees access to the Mentor Certification Process, which creates a movement that follows the Mentoring Blueprint: Guides you to manage a mentoring platform, programs, and movement, inform Move-Forward actions for mentors and mentees, nurture collaborative conversations among those involved, improve application of organizational knowledge shared by mentors and mentees, strengthen organizational productivity through actions taken by mentors and mentees.

 

 

 

To learn more about the International Mentoring Community and The Mentor Certification Process and how it will benefit you, your employees, and your organization, feel free to book a complimentary 20-minute Mentoring Consultation (via call or video)  >>  https://calendly.com/doug-lawrence

 

 

Doug Lawrence is the founder of TalentC®.

Doug shows organizations how mentoring will encourage workforce culture to flow in harmony (mentors), improve productivity from employees (mentees), reducing costly employee onboarding impacting the bottom line (organizations).

Doug is an International Certified Mentor Practitioner (ICMP), an International Certified Mentor Facilitator (ICMF), and has obtained his Certificate of Achievement – Mentoring and his Certificate of Competence – Mentor from the International Mentoring Community (IMC).

Doug is an international speaker and author about all facets of Mentoring. He published “The Gift of Mentoring” in 2014 with his second book is set to publish in 2019.

Doug works with organizations to establish mentoring programs, influence mentoring as a culture, and provides one-on-one direct mentoring for individuals of all backgrounds and levels globally.

To contact Doug: https://calendly.com/doug-lawrence

 

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