Posts tagged #Mentor

Choosing the Right Mentor

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Choosing the right mentor is one of the most important career decisions. The right mentor can expand your professional network, open doors to new opportunities, and provide strategic guidance. Because of its importance,  choosing the right mentor shouldn’t be taken lightly. This person will likely introduce you to people who will help you grow your career – however, if you’re introduced to people who don’t align with your career path, it likely won’t be a fruitful working relationship. Finding the right mentor will take time, patience, self-reflection, and a bit of creativity. Let’s go over a few tactics to help you choose the right mentor.

4 Tips For Choosing The Right Mentor

1. Define What You’re Looking For

What is your skillset now and what skills do you need in order to reach your goals? Your mentor should help bridge the gap between where you are currently in your career versus where you want to be. Before vetting mentors, define exactly what you need from the relationship.

2. Look at Professional Experience

Professional experience is arguably the most critical component of the right mentor. You want to make sure they walk the walk, not just talk the talk. For example, if you work in finance and want to develop the skills and expertise to progress to a CFO role, you shouldn’t choose someone in technology or marketing as your mentor. While they may provide valuable information, they may not be able to give you guidance on the career moves needed to reach your goals.

3. Make Sure Your Business Styles Compliment

Do you both have a similar outlook on life and business? Do you value similar things? While you don’t have to be exactly the same, you should have complimentary styles and values. This will help you understand each other better. You may know an incredibly intelligent person but if your values and outlook don’t align, the person may not be suitable as a partner. We recommend getting to know a potential mentor well enough to answer these questions before you invite them to enter a mentoring relationship with you.

4. Don’t Overlook Virtual Mentors

Today we have access to more information than ever before. Technology is breaking down boundaries for finding valuable mentors. This allows you to be strategic when choosing your mentor. Make finding the best fit the priority, regardless of location. If you’ve exhausted your local network, consider virtual mentors.

Still Need To Find A Mentor? We Can Help.

The Wilbanks Consulting Group can help you craft the perfect strategy to achieve career success. We align the results with your goals to create a strategy for future growth and development through your current position or toward a new one. If you’re interested in propelling your career to the next level, contact us for a complimentary consultation.

Posted on August 7, 2018 and filed under Search Strategy, Career.

4 Tips For Accepting Professional Feedback With Grace

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A client once told me that her journalism professor graded their articles in green, because green connects with growth. That green pen removed the dread of receiving feedback on her work, and she was instead able to view feedback as a way to grow personally and professionally.

Depending on where you work, the type of feedback you receive may take different forms. Some companies do 360 degree reviews, where the opportunity is given to employees to evaluate their bosses and vice versa. Other companies do a simple written evaluation once a year with little input from the receiving party. The most distinguishing factor between feedback experiences depends on who is giving it. Using MBTI®, we see that each personality style has a different way of giving and receiving feedback. Some people will be direct and to the point, others will try to soften the feedback, while others may try to beat around the bush in an effort to avoid hurt feelings. It’s a great idea to learn where you fall on the MBTI® scale to improve your communication with others.

The purpose of feedback is to thoughtfully help you grow personally and professionally by providing good elements of your performance you can strengthen, identifying areas that need extra attention, and outlining a plan to improve moving forward. But, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to hear.

4 Tips For Accepting Professional Feedback With Grace

When receiving feedback...

1. Pause, don’t react, and breathe

Our natural response to any criticism is to immediately become defensive (especially when it’s about a project you worked hard on). This gut reaction will not be productive for you or the project. Instead, pause, don’t react, and take a deep breath. Then move on to...

2. Listen and ask questions

Active listening and asking clarifying questions shows that you are engaged in the conversation. It’s possible to misunderstand what’s being said, and asking questions allows you time to process the information without reacting negatively.

3. Summarize and reflect

After your meeting, handle your emotions away from the office. Ask a coworker you trust to go out to lunch and debrief with them. Be open to hear their take on the feedback and be open to what they have to say, whether they agree with the feedback you received or not.

4. Set-up an appointment to follow-up

Once you’ve had time to process the feedback, ask for a follow-up appointment. Go over items you are trying to improve and ask for support with goal-setting and resources you may need.

MBTI® Training

If you’d like to take the MBTI® assessment and learn how to apply the results to your interactions with other regarding feedback (or other interactions), the Wilbanks Consulting Group provides tailored workshops to groups and career coaching to individuals, allowing teams and individuals to move forward quickly with the clarity and agility required to excel. The MBTI® is cost effective and simple to apply. It benefits organizations at the individual, team, and institutional levels. Our team of Certified MBTI® Practitioners is available to assist with individual and team assessments and coaching. Both onsite and virtual options are available in Houston and worldwide.

Posted on July 18, 2018 and filed under Career.

3 Reasons You Should Be A Mentor (Even If You’re A Newbie)

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Who is the person that has shaped and molded your professional career? This person will have given you advice, provided constructive criticism, and assisted in developing your skills - perhaps both interpersonal skills and “hard” skills. Whoever plays this role in your life is your mentor, even if you’ve never identified him or her as such.

Taking the step from being mentored to mentoring is a scary one for many professionals. You may feel that you lack experience or are underqualified to advise someone else in their career. Even if you are just a few months out of college, there is someone out there that will greatly benefit from being mentored by you.

Here’s Three Reasons Why You Should Be A Mentor

1. You are qualified to be a mentor. Sure, you might only be six months in to your very first job out of college or only a few weeks into your new position. But you are further along than someone. Maybe it’s the intern still in college or your new colleague that was hired last week. The bottom line: you are less experienced than some and more experienced than others. Model how you mentor on what worked for you and your mentor. You can even ask your mentor for help to get started.

If you want a structured mentorship experience, there are many mentor programs that can help guide you in the process of finding a mentee and how to effectively develop the relationship. Ask your company if they have a program and conduct research to find industry-specific programs you can join.

2. Mentoring a great way to develop your leadership skills. Getting your feet wet will always be the best way to learn to swim. Similarly, mentoring someone is the best way to learn how to be a mentor! Your leadership skills will be stretched and challenged, improving them in a very real and tangible way.

Asking for feedback from your mentee is an effective way to build your relationship and also to learn where you need to improve. You both can benefit and learn from each other, which takes the pressure off of you.

3. As a mentor, you can help others. Most job satisfaction comes from having a clear purpose and the knowledge that you are bettering the world in some way. Mentorship provides a way for you to invest in the life of someone who needs help in their career. Being a mentor provides an opportunity to see both short- and long-term results of the fruit of your labor. There is nothing quite like knowing you made a positive impact on the life of another human being!

Take some time to list the strengths and benefits you would boast as a mentor. Then, take steps to find someone to mentor!

Posted on April 25, 2018 and filed under Community.