Judy Zimmer, president of Coachology.us and Debbie Kraemer, a project manager, were connected in the TEAMWomen Mentoring Program in 2017.  Both women have found value in the mentoring relationship and in this interview, both talk about the power of mentoring.

Debbie, what made you decide to seek out a mentor?

I didn’t choose the Team Women Mentoring program, I believe it chose me!  I was discussing my career journey with my sister-in-law, Beth Kraemer, and she told me about this group and all the benefits she has enjoyed from it.  Beth suggested that I sign up for the Mentoring program to help with my adventure of finding something new in my career.

Judy, this is your second time participating as a mentor.  What made you decide to work with a mentee?

I love working with engaging and successful mentees.  Debbie is a very successful business professional and strives to be even better.  She is an avid reader and has expanded my list of business books.  I have learned from her and she has learned from me.

Debbie, what has been the biggest surprise and most rewarding part of the mentoring relationship?

The most surprising experience I have enjoyed since joining the mentoring program is the positive, forward thinking shift in my mindset in only 3 ½ months, it has been simply amazing.

The most rewarding experience is meeting Judy and spending time with her.  She is a positive force who has made me realize I am capable of anything, the world is mine and I have everything I need inside myself to be successful and happy.

Debbie, what advice would you give to someone who doesn’t have a mentor?

I would tell another business professional who is hesitant about joining a mentoring program that we truly limit ourselves when we live inside our own head and believe all the negative stuff that we make up.  We can spend countless hours reading self-help books, listening to positive self-help podcasts and YouTube videos but we must ACT and do something to really be happy and fulfilled.  One of the best ways to do that is through a mentor who will help us to see how we are limiting ourselves and how to ‘break out of ourselves’.

Debbie, what would you say about the TeamWomen organization?

My experience with the Team Women Mentoring Program has been amazing, it has changed my mindset, helped me let go of negative thinking, raised my confidence level and I now have connections with hundreds of other strong women.

Judy, what would you say to TeamWomen members who have not participated in the program?

TeamWomen has an amazing process for matching mentors and mentees.  There is training, engaging meetings along the way and monthly mentoring topics.  Being a mentor is a wonderful way to serve the community and being a mentee is a great way to increase your professional profile, confidence and connections.  There are no downsides to the process.

 

By Angela Lurie | Senior Regional Vice President, Robert Half

Mentorships engage employees in ways no other professional development initiative can. A mentor helping a new employee navigate her career in a one-on-one setting gives the mentor the chance to share her own experiences and lessons learned, all while teaching the mentee to make wise decisions and take ownership of her work. Likewise, a younger employee mentoring a more experienced coworker (referred to as reverse mentorships) in areas such as new technology can bring diverse generations together in the workplace. Recent research from Robert Half indicates that the greatest benefits of serving as a mentor are the opportunity to improve leadership skills and the internal satisfaction of helping others.

Other tactical benefits to mentorships include:

Benefits to the Mentor:

  • Improved interpersonal skills
  • Expanded professional network
  • Facilitated upkeep with industry trends

Benefits to the Mentee:

  • Improved interpersonal skills
  • Development of leadership skills
  • Achievement of goals and objectives
  • Personal resource in maneuvering new professional experiences

Benefits to the Company:

  • Increased knowledge transfer between employees
  • Furthered succession planning efforts
  • Employees motivated to pursue more professional development
  • Increased teamwork, including across departments
  • Improved employee retention

So how can you bring these benefits to your team? First, it’s important to choose your mentee carefully. It is not as simple as finding a junior member of your team and offering advice. While most traditional mentorship relationships involve a senior employee mentoring someone less experienced, it may make more sense to seek out a reverse or peer mentorship. The key is to consider who will benefit from your insights and guidance, based on their professional interests and long-term goals. Keep in mind that the right mentee may not even work in your department. Ask your colleagues for recommendations.

Another important consideration is the commitment required to make the experience positive and productive. The best way to accomplish this is to plan ahead. Schedule regular mentorship time, whether it’s a monthly lunch or standing coffee date. This commitment goes both ways, so work with your mentee to hold each other accountable. This accountability should extend beyond maintaining a meeting schedule to include following up on advice and goals.

Finally, to keep an eye on the progress of goals, it’s important to set them up front. What does your mentee hope to learn from you? What knowledge, skills and advice can you offer her? How will you measure success over time?

Mentorships are an excellent way to empower mentor and mentee alike. Learn more at the April 25 TeamWomenMN networking event, “Mentoring: What You Learn By Empowering Someone.”

To learn more about Angela’s own mentorship experiences, check out the April 25 TeamWomenMN networking event, “Mentoring: What You Learn By Empowering Someone.” Angela and three additional panelists will share their own insights and offer recommendations for embarking on your own mentorship relationship.

 

 

When you picture a mentor, what do you see? A silver-haired executive with more than his or her fair share of “war stories”? The successful, fast talking company star?

In my volunteer experiences with organizations like TeamWomenMNMentoring Monday and Baker Tilly’s GROW (Growth and Retention of Women) initiative, I’ve often seen people not pursue mentoring because they don’t believe they have the right amount of experience, time or skills to effectively guide someone in their career. The truth is, mentoring isn’t dependent upon those things.

What mentoring is (and what it isn’t)

  • Mentoring is about listening. As a mentor, it’s not your job to solve your mentee’s problems. Your role is to actively listen and help her uncover possible solutions. Brainstorm, listen, talk through different outcomes, ask questions and provide advice sparingly.
  • Being a mentor is not a full-time (or even part-time) gig. While consistent check-ins with your mentee are advisable, constant communication is not necessary – nor is it healthy! It is okay to set boundaries and not be perpetually accessible. If she wants more time or involvement than you can provide, communicate that. Have a conversation about expectations right away so you both know what to expect and neither feel overwhelmed or ignored.
  • Mentoring is not forever. Agreeing to be a mentor is not a life-long commitment. At the beginning of the relationship, it’s a good idea to discuss the length of time your mentee would like to be mentored. Twelve months is a good timeframe to start with. After a year, evaluate together if continuing the relationship for another six or twelve months would be beneficial.
  • Being a mentor doesn’t have to wait until you’re in the c-suite. Don’t have your own career completely figured out? Still climbing the corporate ladder? Made more than your share of career missteps? You might just have what it takes to be a mentor. To be an effective mentor, you don’t have to be (or act) perfect or have achieved all of your career goals. The more genuine and real you can be with your mentee by sharing the lessons you’ve learned throughout your career – both successes and failures – the deeper the connection and benefit for both of you.

Mentors play an important role in the professional lives and development of young women and, as a mentor, it can be incredibly rewarding to observe the impact you’ve had on your mentee’s career goals and aspirations.

Are you up for the challenge? I think you are.

The beginning of every new year brings a clean slate and an excitement for success yet unknown. The new year also brings along plenty of opportunities for companies to proclaim that you can find success by reading their book, joining their gym, downloading their app – the list goes on. If you are like me, the last thing I need is to add another task to my to-do list that I may or may not (most likely will not) complete. A confirmation of this are the five books sitting next to my bed that I have dog-eared in hopes to find time to one day get back to reading them.

That is why I was all in when I can across Elle Kaplan’s article, You Need to Give Up These Toxic Habits If You Want to Be Exceptionally Successful. Give up something and become successful? Yes, please. In seven simple, realistic steps, Kaplan breaks down the common bad habits that are standing in the way of your success. In reading this article and following these steps, I might be bold enough to state that you could potentially become a better person and even someone that others prefer to surround themselves with.

If you are ready to remove a few bad habits from your life in order to achieve success in the year ahead, take five minutes out of your day and reflect on these seven simple steps to a successful – and lighter – you.

“Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.”

–        Benjamin Franklin

Positivity is a trait everyone strives for, right? But when it really comes down to it, is it a trait that’s actually highly regarded in the business world? Or is it the mental toughness of seeing possible downfalls that make someone a more critical thinker? Naturally, both are important. If we only saw negative possibilities, no one ever would start new companies. Then again if we only acknowledged the silver lining and didn’t take into account the real, potentially negative possibilities, we wouldn’t have wise business practices. All in all, it’s a delicate balance.

I am a “half glass full” kind of person by default, but I also naturally analyze possible negative outcomes – so I can determine better methods to achieve goals. A beloved soul who encouraged positivity and self/external reflection was Zig Ziglar. No longer with us, Zig had many inspiring anecdotes. Take a minute to scroll through insights that can benefit you today — these might bring the breakthrough you’ve been needing in your mindset!

“If you wait until all the lights are “green” before you leave home, you’ll never get started on your trip to the top.”

https://www.positivityblog.com/zig-ziglar/