There are so many benefits that a mentor can bring to a mentee’s life, career guidance, identifying skill gaps, new ideas and networking contacts. One thing, however, that isn’t talked about enough is how mentors can help to build confidence in a mentee.
“Self confidence is one of the keys to personal and professional success.”
Often people can be plagued by self doubt and feelings of imposter syndrome, or shyness in the workplace – but having a mentor in your corner helping to navigate you through these barriers with small actionable steps can go a long way to helping build confidence.
At Mentorloop we’re incredibly fortunate to be working with organisations all around the world – who are putting their people first and providing mentoring to help their people grow. One such company is CHA Consulting, an engineering and construction management firm with the goal to ‘responsibly improve the world we live in.’ The people at CHA aim to meet client needs with cutting edge technology, talent and partnerships. Throughout offices in the United States and Canada they provide services to public, private and institutional clients.
Access to the big picture
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with one of CHA Consulting’s Mentee’s, Nikki Abney, on her mentoring journey so far. Working in the aviation department of CHA for a year, Nikki was paired with Katya London as her mentor. The mentoring relationship “worked out perfectly.” Had the mentoring program not happened, the pair would not have had the opportunity to meet. Not only were they from two different departments, but they were mentoring across US state lines with Nikki in Indiana and Katya in New York.
She told me that her mentor was able to guide her, understand her outlook and look at her perspective. “I was surprised at how quickly that my mentor and I were able to form a great relationship that we want to continue. Even though we have different focuses within the company, we were able to relate on a work and personal level.”
“I’ve found that by pairing with someone outside of your own department, you’re given the opportunity to learn more about that part of the industry as a whole, as well as other projects developing within the company.” – Nikki Abney
Your Mentoring Cheerleader
Nikki told me that her mentor was able to pick up little things that helped her become a better leader. During one of their first mentoring sessions they looked at the book Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman, her mentor suggested that she read the book so that they can discuss it each week. The book looks at how leaders excel not just through skill and smarts, but by connecting with others using Emotional Intelligence competencies like empathy and self-awareness. “In the beginning of the program, my Mentor and I discussed confidence and how it relates to leadership.” Gaining confidence became a focus for their mentoring sessions, after Nikki’s mentor Katya was able to pick up on little things such as how in the past Nikki had been quiet throughout work meetings. Katya encouraged Nikki not to be afraid to speak up during meetings and have the small little goal to contribute at each meeting – even if it is just one sentence. “They’ve asked you to come to this meeting for a reason” because they value your input and contribution. Over time she’s spoken up more and more – and told me that it was really amazing that her mentor was able to pick this up. “I’ve noticed that I am beginning to speak up more during meetings and have been more independent. I’ve been individually speaking more with clients and other co-workers.”
“We have continuously talked about goals and what areas I can strive to improve to aid in my success with the company. Since being involved in the program, I find myself being more confident speaking with clients and sharing my thoughts among co-workers.” – Nikki Abney
For great mentoring to occur, clear rules and guidelines need to be established from the start of the relationship, Nikki says “mentoring programs can be very beneficial, as long as both people involved are willing to put in the same amount of effort. I believe it is important to establish clear communication early on regarding time commitment and what each hopes to get from the program.” Mentoring is always a good thing, if you can give back and teach someone, all it can do is make someone successful.
Success is felt at the individual level and company wide when businesses put their people first. Connecting with others in a mentoring relationship across departments has many positives according to Nikki – you may work in different areas but you do find common goals, helping to “strengthen teamwork and collaboration among co-workers and teach skills that can help us better serve clients.”
Will you help your employees succeed in 2019? Book a demo with Mentorloop today.