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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mentoring has reached a paradigm shift that comes from mentoring being recognized as a solution to business challenges. However, some confusion exists as to “what is mentoring” and “what is the best way to apply the mentoring” concepts? Countless myths exist about mentoring and the mentoring process. Mentoring is still sometimes seen from the Traditional mentoring perspective rather than Effective mentoring.

The Traditional view sees  the mentor to be older than the mentee, to share their wisdom and knowledge more from “telling” rather than “asking a series of questions” to guide.

The paradigm shift taking place is premised on the following definition:

Mentoring is a two-way trusted relationship where both the mentor and mentee will learn and grow personally and professionally together.

There are two foundational pieces to consider if we want to have meaningful mentoring experiences.

First is a two way trusted relationship.
We are unable to build that two-way trust then we cannot have a successful mentoring experience. Building trust requires that we share something personal with our mentee. This trust may not happen in the first meeting, but the more comfortable you are with sharing, the easier trust is to build.

While we sometimes talk about mentoring from the “Traditional” style, we also talk about “Reverse Mentoring”, a style the younger person mentors an older person. They will typically guide them in exploring technology and how to use it. I am not a fan of this term as “reverse” means going backwards. We at the International Mentoring Community (IMC), prefer to substitute “reverse mentoring” with the term “effective mentoring.”

The second foundational piece to consider is effective communication. If we do not understand how to communicate effectively then we will struggle with building a mentoring relationship. There are 7 Effective Communication Tools:

Each Effective Communication Tool addresses the definition of effective mentoring which is always a two-way trusted relationship, where both the mentor and mentee will learn and grow personally and professionally together.

The paradigm shift of effective mentoring occurs in the present and future needs of the workforce and in organizations.

With the diminishing use of Traditional style mentoring, we need to create a more modern and business focused mentoring approach.

The mentoring paradigm shift also addresses focusing on the personal growth or psychosocial needs mentees have before addressing professional growth. In future articles we will explore the aspect of personal and professional growth as part of the effective mentoring process.

Effective mentoring is the future; creating a learning and development environment benefits all.

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To discuss how the Mentoring Paradigm Shift will affect your workplace or organization, book an appointment with Doug.

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

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 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 improving 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 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.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your organization's annual employee turnover rate is bleeding your bottom line.

A company with 150 employees typically has an annual turnover rate of @11%.

If it costs $25k to hire and onboard a single employee, while losing $10k in development and a loss of $50k of interrupted existing productivity and missed opportunities, then those 16.5 turn over employees have cost this company about $1.57 million. While Hospitality has a voluntary turnover rate of 20.7% and the legal sector is able to maintain the highest earners, we are still seeing a high number of turnover rates across the world.

Reducing turnover employees by just 20% would save this company about $300k, which can now be allocated to new ventures.

This also helps support the existing employee's emotional drain, professional headaches, and says little about the emotional headache and cultural disruption felt from losing great people.

For larger companies of 1000 or more, expect the annual turnover rate to start @ 15%, bleeding the bottom line.

We take our clients, who are frustrated business owners like you, and reduce the employee turnover rate typically by 50%. We do that with THE MENTORING PROCESS, a 7- step proven system that works for any organization.

If you want to know how the Mentoring Process can reduce your employee turnover rates, let's talk: https://calendly.com/doug-lawrence

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Doug Lawrence is an extraordinary mentor and mentor certification trainer with TalentC and is the International Mentoring Community Director of Education.

Doug shows organizations how mentoring programs will influence a happy workforce culture (mentors), improve employee productivity (mentees), reducing costly employee high turnover (onboarding), improves the bottom line (organizations), which saves 150% to 200% of the annual salary of each departing employee. He provides one-on-one direct mentoring for individuals and groups, all backgrounds and industries locally and internationally.

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).

An international speaker and author of The Gift of Mentoring (2014), Doug's second book is set to publish in late 2020.

Do you have a workplace crisis or issue to resolve? Schedule a time to meet with Doug: https://calendly.com/doug-lawrence

 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) impacts about 8 people out of 100 at some time point in their life. About 8 million people will have PTSD in a given year. Many do not reach out for help or are not able to get help.

(https://www.psycom.net/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/)

The Practice of Mentoring (effective mentoring) focuses on professional development (career-related) and psychosocial outcomes. Psychosocial mentoring includes interpersonal support, friendship, emotional support, satisfaction and personal development. The Practice of Mentoring includes the referral to professionals in the area of psychology, psychiatry, counseling and various forms of coaching based on the needs of the mentee. The mentor always maintains a relationship with the mentee.

The Department of Veteran Affairs (USA) introduced mentoring (2008) as a potential solution to providing tools to PTSD Program Directors in delivering the administration and clinical practices of care to veterans with stress related mental disorders to improve the overall quality of care to veterans. The program which provides mentorship to care providers has been deemed a success and is continuing to grow as part of continuous improvement initiatives. (https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/b122/ad5b52b171b36e883facb65511ef80acc9e6.pdf)

This is a great example of thinking outside the box when it comes to the business value for mentoring. It demonstrates a deeper and richer appreciation for not only the professional growth perspective of effective mentoring but the psychosocial aspect.

In a lot of corporate workplace mentoring programs the focus is purely on the professional (career) development and not on the personal development (psychosocial).

As an extraordinary mentor practicing effective mentoring I must always be listening and hearing what my mentee is saying. I need to recognize when it is time to seek professional help for my mentee and to always own the relationship that I have developed with my mentee. Listening, hearing and being supportive are keys to psychosocial support in this type of mentoring relationship or any mentoring relationship.

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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 improving 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 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.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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: Have you ever mentored students on research projects remotely?

A: The short answer is yes.

The mentoring process that I use is premised on the definition of mentoring - a two way trusted relationship where both the mentor and mentee learn and grow on a personal and professional level.

Virtually mentoring does require a different skill set when it comes to mentoring but it can be just as effective if done correctly.

Q: What is an example of executive mentoring?

A: Executive mentoring typically can take place at senior levels within the organization. I work with Presidents, Vice Presidents, Directors, etc and the process that I use is much the same. The mentoring experience however is customized/tailored to the specific needs of the person requesting the mentoring.

There is a focus on their personal growth as well as professional growth. I spend a fair amount of time discussing the topic of communication and the importance of effectively communicating.

If you would like to learn more please reach out to me and we can explore this further.

Q: How important is reverse mentor ship in corporate life?

A: I prefer to not use the term reverse mentoring. The definition of reverse is to go backwards. I prefer to call it effective mentoring as it is a two way trusted relationship where the mentor and mentee are going to learn and grow on a personal and professional basis. Nothing reverse about that.

Effective mentoring is a strategic objective that all organizations need to embrace as part of their short and long term strategic plan. I have worked with organizations that have done just that and it has helped shape the culture in a positive way. It has assisted in the retaining of quality employees and reduced employee turnover. It has created an organization where people want to work because of the culture powered by effective mentoring.

Q: Is it possible to find an architect (mentor) online who will provide guidance?

A: If you do a search via Google you will generate 20M plus hits on the phrase “architect mentoring program”. Check out a few of these as some on the first page are architect associations that have a mentoring program. Some of those programs may have a virtual component to them. I am involved with an IT Association that does virtual mentoring and it works well.

Q: Architects told me to find a mentor to learn from him/her, so should I pay to a mentor or is it free?

A: If it is done via a mentor program through an association chances are that it would be free.

Some mentors will offer to mentor as their way of giving back to the profession.

Some mentors will charge for their services similar to what business coaches do.

Make sure you check out your proposed mentor as far as mentoring experience and training is concerned. They should be good at building trusted relationships, communicating effectively which would also include the ability to use storytelling to share lived experiences.

Ultimately the decision to pay for mentoring services vs getting it for free is your decision and will be guided by my comments above.

Q: How does leadership and management overlap?

A: Management: “the process of dealing with or controlling things or people.”

Leadership: “the action of leading a group of people or an organization.”

The overlap exists that both are dealing with people. How they actually deal with people is another thing. Organizations that are struggling are more than likely managing their people. Organizations that are flourishing are more than likely leading - guiding, motivating, etc.

Q: Why is it frowned upon (or is it?) to question the leader of an organization’s decisions?

A: It is all about communication and how you ask the questions regarding the leader’s decisions. If you can frame what you have to say in the form of a question and use the words “we and us” more often the results will be much better and different.

Pick and choose the place that you ask the questions as outright challenging someone and/or their decision in the presence of a number of people is not always the best path to take. Frame this in the context of a learning opportunity and ask questions accordingly.

Q: What does it mean if a smart, hardworking new hire is struggling?

A: There may be some external influences that are impacting the new hire from performing at the level that you expect.

This is a great place to have them work with a trained mentor. Having them work with an external mentor is recommended in order to maintain a level of confidentiality that is required. The trained mentor will explore the personal and professional challenges with the new hire.

The experiences that I have had with similar situations have turned out positive for the betterment of the new hire and the organization.

Q: What are the 5 best tips to reduce employee stress as a leader?

A: I would make sure that employees had the tools to manage stress and not allow it to manage them. Stress is manageable if you have the tools.

I would create a positive work environment with a culture of happiness and learning.

I would ensure that employees are engaged and empowered in the work place.

I would develop relationships with each employee to let them know that they are important and the organization will succeed if they succeed.

I would communicate regularly and would make sure that they understood how their role played a part in the organization achieving its goals and objectives.

Q: How can I grow as the leader of our group?

A: I would look for a mentor that can work with you on your journey as a leader.

A trained mentor will guide and support you and challenge you to think. Mentoring is a two way trusted relationship where the mentor and mentee learn and grow together on a personal and professional basis.

Choose your mentor wisely and embrace the power of effective mentoring.

Q: As a manager, how did you break up a verbal argument between coworkers?

A: This is a great place to use group mentoring techniques. I have done this with work groups that did not get along and with employees within the same work group and on an individual basis. One of the most important things is that you need to facilitate the dialogue and guide them where they need to go. I like to use effective communication techniques to get the conversation going and to provide them with those tools. You need to figure out the root cause for the behavior and then address that.

Q: What are some game-changing leadership capabilities?

A:

  1. Ensuring that your employees have the tools that they need to be successful.
  1. Build trusting relationships with each of your employees - it will go a long way in creating an engaged and empowered work force.
  2. Communicate effectively - listen and hear, pause before speaking, listen for trigger words and deflections.
  3. Embrace the “gift of mentoring” and have those tools in your leadership tool kit.
  4. Take time to guide not tell.

Q: Why do you need a mentor in business?              

A: A mentor is someone that can walk beside you on your business journey. I have a number of mentors - each bringing something special to the mentoring relationship. My mentor(s) are there when I need to talk my way through challenges or perhaps a change in direction. My mentor(s) are there to guide me not tell me what to do.

I think of all the people that I am working with today that are either entrepreneurs or working in the corporate space and I would like to think that the question they would ask you is, “can you afford not to have a mentor”.

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Doug Lawrence is an extraordinary mentor and mentor certification trainer with TalentC® and is the International Mentoring Community Director of Education.

Doug shows organizations how mentoring programs will influence a happy workforce culture (mentors), improve employee productivity (mentees), reducing costly employee high turnover (onboarding), improves the bottom line (organizations), which saves 150% to 200% of the annual salary of each departing employee. He provides one-on-one direct mentoring for individuals and groups, all backgrounds and industries locally and internationally.

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 recognized as a “Most viewed writer in the Business Mentoring and Mentors and Mentoring categories on the Quora website (www.quora.com).

An international speaker and author of The Gift of Mentoring (2014), Doug’s second book is set to publish in late 2019.

Do you have a workplace crisis or issue to resolve?  Schedule a time to meet with Doug:     https://calendly.com/doug-lawrence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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: How does one find a farming mentor?

A: I just did a search via Google and used the words “farming mentor”. There over 9M hits and some that are really good points of reference.

Take a look at some of the organizations that offer farming mentors and see if any of them meet your needs.

Industry experience is a nice to have - not a need to have. An extraordinary mentor would prepare themselves to work with you by researching the industry and to be familiar with some of the trends. Lack of industry knowledge just means that they will be asking lots of questions which stimulates your critical thinking, demonstrates their interest in you, your industry and helps to build a trusting relationship.

Q: If you were given an opportunity to help someone with communication skills, what would be the greatest words that you’d speak?

A:

  1. Listen and hear what the other person is saying.
  1. Pause before speaking - ask yourself how you would receive what you are about to say - if in doubt then you need to rephrase it or not say it at all.
  2. Listen for trigger words in the conversation that will help you understand where the conversation is going
  3. Create a safe place for the conversation to take place.
  4. Practice crucial conversations - know when it is no longer safe to continue the conversation and back out until it is safe to engage.

 

Q: How would a 17 year old find a mentor in real-estate investing? How can I go find people to get help from in LA?

A: I would suggest finding someone in the industry and asking them for their advice and guidance. You could say, “I am interested in working in your industry once I have completed my education. What would you recommend that I do?”

As with anything in life there are no quick wins financially so be prepared to work hard for what you will achieve. It is refreshing to see that you have a vision and are seeking guidance early.

Q: As a team leader, how do you deal with individuals who struggle with cooperation and interaction with other group members?

A: I will respond to this from the role of a mentor and a team leader could take a similar approach.

Remember that relationships are two way so the other group members may be part of the challenge.

Using mentoring techniques and concepts I would engage with each of the team members to build a trusting relationship. I would focus on their individual challenges on a personal and then a professional level. By approaching it that way we will identify any barriers or obstacles that are impeding their ability to cooperate and interact with fellow team members.

From there it is a matter of providing them with communication tools as well as relationship building skills.

One thing that works well for me when it comes to group challenges such as this is to facilitate group mentoring to get them working together to critically think their way through a problem that they have been trying to solve.

A team leader that has been provided with proper leadership training supplemented by working with a mentor will be able to work through this challenge with a high degree of success.

Q: What advice do you have for people who interview badly?

A: I work with a number of people as their mentor while they are job hunting. Preparing for the interview is one of those steps. Your resume and cover letter can be rock solid but if you are not good at the interview process then you won’t be successful.

Dee has referenced using the technique of mental imagery/visualization which I fully support. I worked with a person who hadn’t been interviewed in over 19 years and we prepared for two interviews using this technique. She crushed both interviews and was successful in being hired by one of the employers.

Wayne’s recommendation to get a mentor is another great recommendation. Mentor’s will guide you and support you but they will not do the heavy lifting - that is your responsibility. I don’t write your resume - you do that but I will make suggestions. At the end of the day you own the resume and have to defend it so having me write it isn’t the path we want to take.

Q: Is leadership quality in every employee of an organization important?

A: I think it is a most definite nice to have - but I don’t think realistically that it would be a need to have. The leadership talent shortage that we are experiencing globally tells us that it is important but we are still trying to figure out how to address it.

I am a firm believe that we can prepare future leaders for tomorrow through the mentoring process. I have worked with potential leaders and current leaders to gain/enhance leadership skills using the mentoring process. There has been behavioral changes that has resulted in their leadership skills rising to the top. It becomes infectious in that other employees want to emulate the same behavior.

We have work to do but without strong leadership there is untapped potential that alludes us and lost productivity resulting in a huge impact on organization’s bottom line.

Q: How do you demonstrate the pros to someone focused on the cons?

A: I have worked with someone that was just like that.

What we did was to focus on the positive and we used reflection as a means to see both the pro and the con of something. We were able to look at what we might do differently the next time to make it a more positive outcome.

What I have also done is to use the Socratic Method to ask questions that helped us focus on the positive. Example, “What could we have said differently that would change the outcome”. Another approach is to provide two or three alternatives and have them think which would be the better approach.

If they are focused on the cons - they likely have low self-esteem so you may want to start there.

Q: Why would a mentor teach someone specifically how to succeed?

A: We need to look at the definition of mentoring in order to answer your question. Mentoring is a two way trusted relationship where the mentor and mentee learn and grow together - personally and professionally.

As the mentor shares their lived experiences with the mentee they are also learning something along the journey. It may be about the mentee, their organization, the challenges they have or had but just as importantly about themselves as a person and mentor.

It is about giving back but there is also the element that I as a mentor am going to learn and grow as well.

Q: How does a mentor choose his mentees?

A: Sometimes it is the mentee that selects the mentor as a result of a referral. The mentor needs to make sure that they have the capacity to take on the mentee.

When I am deciding whether or not I am going to work with a certain mentee it is usually due to the chemistry and whether or not the person appears committed to the journey. I need to be able to build a trusted relationship and that requires two people to make it happen.

The mentee would need to understand the difference between coaching and mentoring and what the outcomes of a mentoring relationship could be. I always recommend that the mentee take a day or two to reflect on our first meeting and if they feel there is chemistry and want to proceed then we can set up another time to meet. This ensures that we are starting the relationship/arrangement with both eyes open.

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Doug Lawrence is an extraordinary mentor and mentor certification trainer with TalentC and is the International Mentoring Community Director of Education.

Doug shows organizations how mentoring programs will influence a happy workforce culture (mentors), improve employee productivity (mentees), reducing costly employee high turnover (onboarding), improves the bottom line (organizations), which saves 150% to 200% of the annual salary of each departing employee. He provides one-on-one direct mentoring for individuals and groups, all backgrounds and industries locally and internationally.

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 recognized as a “Most viewed writer in the Business Mentoring and Mentors and Mentoring categories on the Quora website (www.quora.com).

An international speaker and author of The Gift of Mentoring (2014), Doug’s second book is set to publish in late 2019.

Do you have a workplace crisis or issue to resolve?  Schedule a time to meet with Doug:     https://calendly.com/doug-lawrence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 are some good ways for a small business entrepreneur to find a mentor? I am currently in the process of expanding my handmade business into wholesale.

A: Check to see if there are any incubators that work with small business entrepreneurs and if they provide mentoring as part of their service. Some include mentoring in their fee structure and some have it as an add on. I have also seen some cases where it is mandatory that mentoring be used.

You can also do some searches via Google to see if there are any associations that provide mentoring. I have seen some of the mentor software programs that have created a mentoring community and a data base of people wanting to mentor.

Make sure that you choose wisely when selecting a mentor. Ideally your mentor should have some form of training in order for you to get the biggest ROI for mentoring.

They don’t have to be from your industry - it is a nice to have but not a need to have. I am mentoring a number of different people and they are from industries that I do not have any experience in.

Q: If one of the top career mistakes is staying in a job too long, how do you know when it's best to find a new job?

A: One tell-tale sign is that it becomes a chore to get out of bed in the morning and go to work. You have become very negative about all thins - including your personal life. You bring home the negativity to an environment that is typically very positive. I have also seen where your productivity and quality of your work begins to decline to the point of you becoming toxic. When I am working with people in a mentoring relationship we touch on these elements and more especially when I sense that we have reached that crossroads. If the culture of the organization is not in alignment with your values it may well be time to move on.

Q: What can women do to have better representation within management and board level positions?

A: An interesting question and timely as I am doing research on this very topic and also exploring male vs female mentors - is there a difference, etc?

What I have seen is that mentoring can assist in providing tools that women need to move forward and assume roles in management or at the board table. Typically a women that is in that position has a male mentor or attempts to acquire a male mentor. There are some male mentors that are reluctant to mentor a women. Research is using the #metoo movement as a reason.

What I have done with one of my female mentees is to recommend having a male mentor and a female mentor - especially someone that has been on the journey to advance in leadership roles and acquire a board table seat.

Bottom line is that mentoring does help - you can leverage the full power of mentoring with a male and female mentoring team.

Q: Who is more effective, a Positive Leader or a Negative Leader?

A: A positive leader would be more effective. Ask yourself who you would rather work with - someone that is positive or someone that is negative. Think of the impact that a leader has on the culture of the organization. Would you want that to be positive or would you want that to be negative.

One thing to remember is that if you are working with a negative leader you need to observe the characteristics that you do not want. It was suggested to me a long time ago that, “you will work with many bosses over the course of your career. Learn to pick the good characteristics - characteristics that you want to emulate and keep those. Learn to recognize the characteristics that you do not want and cast them aside.”

Whether the situation is driven by positivity or negativity there is always something to learn.

Q: Are all 'soft skills' just interpersonal skills? If so, why don't people just call them that?

A: I think the term “soft skills” is one that is over used and with us not fully understanding what it means.

I am more inclined to use the term “essential skills”. I work with leaders and managers at all levels of organizations and what typically needs addressing are their essential skills. Technically they may be very strong but when it comes to working with others, communicating effectively, motivating and inspiring there is always room for improvement.

One thing I have noticed is that we have lost the art of communicating effectively. As a result there is more organizational turmoil and it is typically attributed to the lack of communicating effectively.

Q: If so much material is written about leadership, why are there so few real leaders in companies?

A: There is a global leadership talent shortage today. Check out the article on this site for more information: Are You Ready for the Leadership Shortage?

61% of the companies surveyed do not offer any leadership training - so we are setting people up to fail. What is also critical is to provide mentoring as part of the leadership development program. Sadly this is a process that can and will make a difference but it has to be implemented. Mentors need to be training. The organization from the top down has to recognize that leadership development is a priority.

Provide people with the tools to be successful - don’t set them up for failure. Don’t miss out on opportunities because you have not provided the training and mentoring for your leaders.

Q: Is it normal to only want mentors as my only circle of friends?

A: What this signals to me is that you have challenges with trust. A great mentor focuses on building a trusted relationship which explains you only wanting mentors in your inner circle/circle of friends. Your mentor(s) are filling a void.

Talk with your current mentor(s) to have them work with you to step outside that comfort zone and to build more relationships outside of your mentor(s). Focus on how to build trust and how to receive it from someone else.

The lack of trust will also have an impact on your professional life if it has not already done so. We need to address these personal growth challenges so that they do not become an obstacle to moving forward professionally.

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Doug Lawrence is an extraordinary mentor and mentor certification trainer with TalentC and is the International Mentoring Community Director of Education.

Doug shows organizations how mentoring programs will influence a happy workforce culture (mentors), improve employee productivity (mentees), reducing costly employee high turnover (on-boarding), improves the bottom line (organizations), which saves 150% to 200% of the annual salary of each departing employee. He provides one-on-one direct mentoring for individuals and groups, all backgrounds and industries locally and internationally.

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 recognized as a “Most viewed writer in the Business Mentoring and Mentors and Mentoring categories on the Quora website (www.quora.com).

An international speaker and author of The Gift of Mentoring (2014), Doug’s second book is set to publish in late 2019.

Do you have a workplace crisis or issue to resolve?  Schedule a time to meet with Doug:     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 kind of strategy should I look for in a mentor?

A: While each mentor is different they should all approach the mentoring arrangement/relationship using strong mentoring concepts and techniques.

Remember that mentoring is a two way trusted relationship where both the mentor and mentee learn and grow together. A good mentor will, 1) build a trusted relationship with you, 2) be willing to share something personal about themselves in order to build trust, 3) create a safe environment for your conversation, 4) communicate effectively with you and share that technique to help you grow, 5) ask for your feedback - “what value did you get from our time together today?”, 6) Ask a series of questions to guide you to the answers - DO NOT TELL you what to do, 7) help facilitate the growth of your critical thinking skills and ideally have a calming presence.

Q: How is 'effective management' possible through the delegation of authority?

A: Delegation of authority is part of “effective management”. You should be striving for a work force that is engaged, empowered and accountable and a step towards that direction is delegation of authority.

There will be an element of trust that comes into place with delegation of authority. It will also create an environment of learning opportunities.

There are not many organizations that can demonstrate today that they are practicing “effective management”. Effective communication is always what holds them back.

Q: How do you manage a team of employees if you are not as smart as they are?

A: I would look at this from a different perspective. I would suggest that your team of employees possess certain skill sets that you may not have and you in turn possess skill sets that they don’t have. You have created the beginning of your learning and development environment.

As a leader or manager it should never come down to who is smarter than the other. What matters is that you complement each other based on the skills that you bring to the table.

As the manager or leader you need to engage and empower your team and lead them to success. If they are successful then so will you be.

As a trained mentor when I hear a statement like this I immediately begin to think of self-esteem challenges and I know that is not the case here.

Value your employees for what each brings to the table. Provide them with your guidance and show them the path that lies ahead to success for all.

Q: How can you tell if a business coach/mentor is good? Are there red flags to look out for?

A: Define your expectations up front. What do you hope to get from the relationship? One of the things that I always do with people that I am working with is to ask the question, “what was the value that we got from the time we spent together today?” A mentoring relationship is all about value. What value can the participants bring to the relationship?

Some things to consider:

  1. Watch the body language - it will tell you whether or not there is chemistry and whether or not the person is engaged in the conversation.
  2. Be mindful of your own body language as it will send a message as well.
  3. Are they present or do they appear to be someplace else when you are talking.
  4. Do they hold you accountable - what I mean by that is,  do they ask you questions to guide you to answers rather than telling you what to do.
  5. If they say something such as, “You should know how to deal with this so just go and deal with it. My time is too valuable for little things like this.” It is time to end the relationship and look for another mentor.
  6. You need chemistry, a trusted relationship and effective communication. If any or all of these are missing then it is not a relationship for you.

Q: What are the most important leadership skills for the future?

A: Effective communication is at the top of my list for leadership skills for the future. I work inside organizations from a mentoring capacity and I see the lack of being able to communicate effectively as the root cause for a lot of the challenges that they have. When we have provided employees with the tools they need to communicate effectively the difference is like night and day. Better communicators become better problem solvers. There are a lot of segments to consider when we talk about communicating effectively. Each is key to becoming that effective communicator.

Another skill set that is definitely needed for the future is the ability to build trusted relationships. Most managers, supervisors and leaders do not take the time to build those relationships. This can and will create a culture of disengagement.

It is okay to make a mistake. If we “FAIL” at something that is alright. FAIL is short for “first attempt in learning.” As supervisors, managers and leaders we need to encourage our employees to go beyond and that it is okay to make a mistake. Let’s determine the cause of the mistake, address it and move on.

Q: What are some tips to establish a solid foundation for good corporate culture in a young company?

A: There have been some very good responses to this question already.

I would offer some points from my lived experiences working as an external mentor in some organizations.

  1. Involve employees in the building of the culture. I built a culture in an organization from the bottom up and it was very rewarding for all once it was embraced. It was torn down after I left and became top down and it became a toxic work place.
  2. Share your strategic vision and work with employees to understand how their function/role in the organization on a daily basis contributes to the success of the organization. Most organizations do not do this and it is most definitely needed to build a strong culture.
  3. Provide mentorship to everyone in the organization but in particular to people that are new to the supervisor/manager role. If they do not have the tools it will be difficult to build a positive work place. I have observed this far too often and there is a solution.
  4. Leaders in the organization need to be the role models of your culture. It should be something that they do without thinking.

These are just a few things that I have observed that would assist in building a good work place culture. It can be a daunting task but the rewards are well worth the journey.

Q: How important is it to have a mentor for starting a start-up for the first time?

A: It is very important. A must have. There are number of incubators that have built in mentoring as a service that start-ups can obtain. Some offer it as part of their fee structure while others charge extra for that service and may make it mandatory.

I had an advisory board of mentors when I first started my company and it was something I could not imagine being without. Each of my mentors brought something different from their forte and lived experiences.

Q: How do I go about finding a mentor and how do you approach someone for mentorship (especially in places like NYC)?

A: I would ideally like a little more information in order to properly answer your question.

  1. What are your expectations in acquiring a mentor?
  2. Is this for personal or professional growth or both?
  3. What industry are you working in?
  4. Are there professional associations within your industry that you could check with regarding mentoring?
  5. Virtual mentoring is also a solution that you can look at it. I mentor people internationally and we do that virtually using technology to bridge the distance.

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Doug Lawrence is an extraordinary mentor and mentor certification trainer with TalentC and is the International Mentoring Community Director of Education.

Doug shows organizations how mentoring programs will influence a happy workforce culture (mentors), improve employee productivity (mentees), reducing costly employee high turnover (onboarding), improves the bottom line (organizations), which saves 150% to 200% of the annual salary of each departing employee. He provides one-on-one direct mentoring for individuals and groups, all backgrounds and industries locally and internationally.

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 recognized as a “Most viewed writer in the Business Mentoring and Mentors and Mentoring categories on the Quora website (www.quora.com).

An international speaker and author of The Gift of Mentoring (2014), Doug’s second book is set to publish in late 2019.

Do you have a workplace crisis or issue to resolve?  Schedule a time to meet with Doug:     https://calendly.com/doug-lawrence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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: How do you initiate a mentor-mentee relationship?

A: First off you need to find someone that could be a mentor for you. That may be from your current network or through some other sources such as a mentor software site that has a database of mentors. (www.mentorcity.com)

There are also some organizations that offer mentorship to people as part of their services that they provide. If you are an entrepreneur there are programs that have mentorship included. (www.futurepreneur.ca)

Once you have found a mentor then the next step is to set up a time to meet and define the terms of the relationship. Makes sure you both articulate your expectations so that it is clear what both parties hope to gain from the time spent together.

I usually have the first meeting and then recommend that we sleep on it. If I wake up in the morning feeling positive about the proposed relationship then I am ready to move forward. If I am not feeling good then I will work with you to find someone that you would be more compatible with.

Q: I'm a teacher and I love it, but I don't feel as if I'm a good teacher. What can I do to improve?

A: You could connect with a mentor as the first step. Your willingness to improve is the sign of a person who wants to continue to improve and continue to be of value to others.

My favorite quote is “when we stop learning, we stop leading” (Ken Blanchard). Don’ t view this as something negative but view this as an opportunity to learn and grow. Believe in yourself and the value that you bring to the classroom. As a teacher you are changing lives and you are doing that with passion. Continue your focus in that direction and believe in who you are.

Q: Can you provide an example of transformational leadership?

A: Steve Jobs – Steve Jobs has to mandatorily be one of the names in the most iconic transformational leaders the world has ever seen. His passion for perfection, simplicity and sophistication drove the company and he made sure that it got engraved into every employee who worked at Apple. He constantly challenged his employees to think beyond what has already been done and made them create products that the world did not even know it needed.

Q: Why don't more people get start-up mentoring? Research shows founders with mentors are far more successful.

A: I agree that having a mentor contributes to achieving success. It is possible that we do not have enough incubators that can provide mentoring as part of their service. It could also be that the cost of mentors through the incubator are too steep for someone in the early stages. There is also the issue of you sometimes get what you pay for. Sometimes we get a business coach when we actually wanted a mentor. If you are a start-up you need to do some homework to see if there are any incubators in your area. If not then I encourage you to reach out through this site to find someone. Take a look at www.levellingup.ca. This is a great organization that has a unique model for providing the services that it offers.

Q; Do you believe leadership is born talent?

A: I believe that some people are born leaders while others learn the skill over time. i also believe that you can be at different levels as a leader depending on your lived experiences and capacity to continuous learn.

Jim Collins and a couple of other leadership experts speak to the 5 levels of leadership. (Good to Great - Jim Collins).

The challenge that we have today is in the development of those highly sought after skills. There is a global leadership talent shortage that is not getting better but is getting worse. Leadership development needs to become a priority for organizations.

Q: How can a manager with an empowering style succeed in an organization with very little authority granted to employees and managers?

A: My first thought was that perhaps this is not the right organization for you if your style differs from that of the organization.

We always tell leaders that each employee that they work with is unique and that they have to tailor their leadership style to meet the needs of each employee. This creates the optimum organization and a positive culture.

What I teach employees that I work with through mentoring is the reverse of this concept. I get them to see each manager that they work with as being unique and how they communicate with that manager needs to be tailored to that particular person. Use of the Socratic Method of asking questions can be a valuable tool but it must be used correctly or it may make things worse.

My suggestion is that you would benefit from a trained mentor who will provide you with some tools to deal with the situation that you have outlined.

I have been working with a couple of people recently that have experienced exactly what you are talking about. I have provided them with the tools they need to increase their survival rate.

Q: What is involved in a mentor relationship? As the mentor and as the beneficiary.

A: First off we need to understand the definition of mentoring: Mentoring is a two way trusted relationship where the mentor and mentee are both going to learn and grow on a personal and professional basis.

This is a bit of a paradigm shift in that the Traditional style of mentoring was always an older person mentoring a younger person with a focus on career development (professional growth). You could also add into the mix the idea of a younger person mentoring an older person - referred to as “reverse mentoring” which is a term I am not a huge fan of. Reverse means to go backwards - my mentoring relationships are not focused on going backwards!

The term effective mentoring fits quite nicely with the definition provided - a two way trust relationship where both parties learn and grow together.

There needs to be commitment on the part of the mentor and mentee. There needs to be accountability to each other. Expectations need to be set at the very beginning of the relationship. Personal growth challenges need to be addressed early if not first in the relationship (self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-doubt). There should be a comfort level in sharing something personal in order to build trust. If you can’t establish trust then the relationship will not be successful.

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Doug Lawrence is an extraordinary mentor and mentor certification trainer with TalentC and is the International Mentoring Community Director of Education.

Doug shows organizations how mentoring programs will influence a happy workforce culture (mentors), improve employee productivity (mentees), reducing costly employee high turnover (onboarding), improves the bottom line (organizations), which saves 150% to 200% of the annual salary of each departing employee. He provides one-on-one direct mentoring for individuals and groups, all backgrounds and industries locally and internationally.

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 recognized as a “Most viewed writer in the Business Mentoring and Mentors and Mentoring categories on the Quora website (www.quora.com).

An international speaker and author of The Gift of Mentoring (2014), Doug’s second book is set to publish in late 2019.

Do you have a workplace crisis or issue to resolve?  Schedule a time to meet with Doug:     https://calendly.com/doug-lawrence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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: Who are the best mentors for somebody who would like to lead a business managing money for investors?

A: A good mentor would be someone that has the knowledge and experience to actually be a good mentor. They would undoubtedly have had some form of training to better understand mentoring processes and concepts.

I am a firm believe that industry specific experience is a nice to have not a need to have. I mentor people in a number of different industries of which I do not have any specific experience. I do however know the questions to ask to get people thinking from a critical thinking perspective.

In this case, I would be searching for a great/extraordinary mentor who can call on industry specific colleagues to assist in the mentoring process.

Q: Why do you find it difficult to manage millennials?

A: I don’t find it difficult to manage millennials.

I caution against stereotyping based on “generations”.

All the people that I have worked with that you would refer to as “millennials” I have never had a difficult time in managing them. Perhaps that is why - I didn’t manage them. I mentored them and challenged them to critically think and observed their willingness to want to learn and grow. I respected what they brought to the table and I was able to learn from that.

Q: Are business mentors useless?

A: Some good advice has already been provided for you.

I can’t imagine the journey that I have been on without the guidance of a mentor(s). I am currently mentoring a number of people who have launched their own business. They have all stated very clearly that it is a journey that they would not want to take on their own.

If the notion that you have is that business mentors are useless then that would be the outcome that you will realize. Mentoring is a two way trusted relationship and requires commitment on the part of the mentor and mentee. All my research supports the value of having a mentor no matter what you want to do.

Q: Why should I spend money on acquiring a mentor's knowledge, when I could acquire that knowledge on my own?

A: There is a paradigm shift that has taken place where people are now paying for a good mentor. In my situation I provide a combination of free and paid. In my research I have found that paying for an extraordinary mentor is becoming a readily accepted business practice.

I believe that you have a decision to make on whether or not you feel that you will get value from mentoring. It sounds as though you have already decided that you have the knowledge or know where you can get it with the benefit of a mentor. A trained mentor will get you to explore different approaches based on their lived experiences and will present them to you via story-telling. Sometimes we don’t realize that we have the knowledge and it is through a mentor that we unlock the door to that knowledge and then together explore what we might do with that.

Q: Supervisors, managers, or people of in charge. What advice do you have for new supervisors?

A: On a personal note: For the new supervisor watch what other supervisors and managers are doing. You need to see what some of their best practices are and make that part of your tool kit. The behaviors that you observe that do not sit well with you should be cast aside.

On an Organization note: As part of the organization’s leadership development program a mentor should be assigned to any new supervisor or manager. I have seen where that has been done internally and externally and I have seen some better results when it has been an external mentor. It is sometimes easier to discuss things with someone that does not have any of your organization’s baggage. Assigning a mentor helps to set the new supervisor up for success versus failure.

Q: How does having a mentor help you?

A: I have had mentors for the majority of my personal and professional lives and would not be where I am today without my mentors.

Mentoring is a two way trusted relationship where both the mentor and mentee will learn and grow on a personal and professional basis.

Define the expectations of the relationship at the very beginning. Build a trusted relationship as that is the foundation to success for any mentoring relationship/arrangement.

You will need to determine where you want to grow personally and professionally and then be open and flexible to the journey that lies ahead.

Q: My mom and I have never had a good relationship. She was absent and abusive during my childhood. As I got older I began craving "motherly love." What can I do to fix this? Do I need a mentor?

A: Interesting question. Some of the mentor programs that I have been involved in as an advisor to the program manager we have seen similar requests. The mentor fills a void that has been in existence from the mentee’s early childhood years. Whether it be a mother figure or a father figure the mentor is being leaned on to fill that void.

In a situation like this a mentor can become that mother figure that you are looking for. In the training that I provide to mentors I caution them on becoming too emotionally attached to their mentee. They need to define the terms of the relationship at the very beginning. My fear in some of these situations is that accountability for decisions can easily swing back to the mentor and that is not what we want to see take place. The biggest role that they can play is to listen. Sometimes we just need someone to talk to - someone that will listen and not pass judgement. A person that will guide us but not tell us what to do. They will help us develop our critical thinking skills.

Q: How can I earn money by online mentoring?

A: There is a difference between mentoring virtually and mentoring in person or face to face. Both require that you have a strong understanding of mentoring concepts and processes. You would also benefit from some form of mentor training. To go into this without that training would be a recipe for failure - both for you and the person that you are mentoring.

You would want to develop a level of credibility for the mentor services that you are going to offer. This comes with doing some mentoring at no cost.

When I first started my journey there was a lot of mentoring that was done at no cost. Once I had gained momentum I was then able to structure fees for my services. My fees have grown over the years but so has my investment in learning and in being certified competent as a mentor. I am working with a couple of organizations where I was asked if I had any formal training and certifications in order to secure their business.

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Doug Lawrence is an extraordinary mentor and mentor certification trainer with TalentC and is the International Mentoring Community Director of Education.  Doug shows organizations how mentoring programs will influence a happy workforce culture (mentors), improve employee productivity (mentees), reducing costly employee high turnover (onboarding), improves the bottom line (organizations), which saves 150% to 200% of the annual salary of each departing employee. He provides one-on-one direct mentoring for individuals and groups, all backgrounds and industries locally and internationally.

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 recognized as a “Most viewed writer in the Business Mentoring and Mentors and Mentoring categories on the Quora website (www.quora.com).

An international speaker and author of The Gift of Mentoring (2014), Doug’s second book is set to publish in late 2019.

Do you have a workplace crisis or issue to resolve?  Schedule a time to meet with Doug:     https://calendly.com/doug-lawrence

 

 

 

 

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