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How to Mentor in the Workplace

How to Mentor in the Workplace

Learning how to mentor in the workplace is an important skill to learn. A mentorship relationship is indeed a two-way street. The mentor has to be willing to help, advise, and coach the mentee, and the mentee has to be willing to put in the effort in order to get the most out of the relationship. Of course, it is the, for the most part, the mentee’s responsibility to get the ball rolling in the right direction. After all, mentees are the ones who require the mentor’s help to propel and accelerate their professional development.

So what do mentees need to know about being a mentee? The following points will highlight what it means to be in the mentee’s shoes and what etiquette they need to mentor in the workplace.

How to Mentor in the Workplace

LET GO OF YOUR EGO

As a mentee, you are the one asking for guidance and assistance. Proper mentor-mentee relationship etiquette is to let your mentor take the lead. Consider this relationship as being dance partners – one person leads, and the other follows. Remember, your mentor’s experiences count for a lot; they are credible and they hold an incredible amount of information power. Trust in your mentor’s abilities to guide you in the right direction. They have walked miles in your shoes, so let them show you the way.

ACTIVE LISTENING GOES A LONG WAY

How do you let your mentor take the lead? Through active listening. But what is the difference between listening and active listening, and why is active listening important? It’s crucial to go further than just hearing what your mentor is saying. Practicing active listening in your mentor-mentee relationship shows that you are absorbing what your mentor is saying, paying attention to their advice, and comprehending their messages clearly.

If your mentor is a successful professional, chances are they are extremely busy outside their mentorship relationship with you. Active listening not only shows your enthusiasm for the opportunity to work alongside your mentor, but it also shows that you are able to take direction well, even amidst all the busyness.

BE PREPARED

Your time with your mentor is precious and valuable. Not everyone is fortunate enough to find someone with who they are so eager to work alongside and actually be given the opportunity to do so. Showing preparedness by clarifying from the very beginning of the relationship what you are expecting from there, what your goals are, and what you are willing to do in order to achieve those goals shows not only your respect for your mentor, it also shows the respect you have for yourself. Coming prepared with goals and expectations for your mentorship relationship will help in building an effective and efficient connection.

DON’T GET DEFENSIVE

Your mentor has years of first-hand experience, that’s why you want to learn from them, right? As a mentee, it is crucial that you ask for feedback constantly. Although criticism is difficult to take in sometimes, it is an integral part of our personal and professional development. What is important to note about feedback, is how to interpret them as constructive criticism. As a mentee, you should be able to separate your personal insecurities from what your mentor is trying to communicate with you. Often, we are unable to take criticism constructively because we project our personal insecurities to the situation instead of directing the comments strictly to the event.

Mentors will oftentimes have a different point of view from you. Try not to get defensive because they are there to show you alternative ways to criticize situations and tackle situations. Appreciate their honesty with you. If you have concerns with their suggestions, discuss them openly to arrive at a consensus.

RESPECT YOUR MENTOR’S TIME

Working with mentors can test your ability to multitask. Recurrently, your mentor may give you a variety of work to be completed; this is because they want to give you as much work experience in the field as possible, and they also have less time to dedicate to their own work after taking you under their wing. Respect your mentor’s time and complete work promptly. This also extends to your communication efforts. Returning their phone calls and emails promptly allows them to schedule extra help or reorganize their personal schedules in the event that you are unable to complete assigned tasks or if you are otherwise unavailable to do so.

TAKE IT SERIOUSLY

This section goes hand-in-hand with respecting your mentor’s time. If you are in business, your mentor is likely a successful business person. If you are a teacher, your mentor is likely a successful professor. If you are in culinary arts, your mentor is likely an extremely busy executive chef. Whatever your field is, it is important to take your mentorship relationship seriously. Again, it is not often that mentees are able to choose their own mentors and be given the opportunity to work alongside them. So, take it seriously!

Consider looking at your opportunity from the perspective of a person who did not get the same chance as you. Perhaps it is because they could not commit the time. Or, maybe it is because your mentor, out of all the individuals who had approached them, chose you to be their mentee. Be gracious that you are able to learn from your mentor because there are others who may be willing to work harder than you but were not given the break to.

SHOW GRATITUDE

Mentors have a great impact on their mentees’ lives. They are the ones who develop their critical thinking skills so that their mentees are able to take on challenges in their professional careers in ways that direct them to success. When you write our graduation notes to be printed in your high school yearbook, many of us thank our teachers, family, and friends for helping us get through the five years of secondary school. Why not do the same for your mentors? Mentors do a lot for you – they may invite you to sit in meetings or go to conferences and networking events that will connect you even more so with individuals in your field. Those are opportunities that not very many people get. It is important that you show your gratitude to your mentor because without them, you would probably have to take the long route to your destination.

Respect Your Mentor’s Confidence

Your mentor’s experiences are priceless. They have likely worked with numerous organizations, with each one giving them more knowledge. With every endeavor your mentor has gone through, they gain more confidence. Respect their sureness and be open to their suggestions. If you do find yourself questioning the legitimacy of their actions, talk to them directly. Everyone comes with their personal beliefs and values, and mentors are there to open your eyes to different solutions, not to challenge your principles.

Let Your Mentor Invite You In

First and foremost, your mentor is there to be your professional role model. They are there to show you the ins and outs of your career so that you may accelerate yourself to your professional growth and development. However, because some mentorship relationships require both parties to work closely together for long periods of time, it is inevitable that professional relationships become more personal. If this is the case, let your mentor invite you into their lives. Remember, as a mentee you are there to learn from their professional experiences first.

Keep The Doors Open

When you stay in relationships that no longer have a purpose, it is doing the other party and yourself a disservice. Eventually, your mentorship relationship will run its course, and you, as a mentee, will need to leave the relationship.

It is important not to burn bridges when you leave any mentorship relationship. Keeping the doors open between yourself and your mentor allows an opportunity to work collaboratively again in the future.

Learn more about creating positive two-way communication within a mentor and mentee relationship with our online courses! 

To learn more about the power of emotional intelligence and the benefits of coaching and mentoring in the workplace, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you need help leading your organization to success, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram to keep up with our latest blogs!

Using Your EQ for Successful Networking

Using Your EQ for Successful Networking

Everyone has heard that networking and building relationships is a crucial part of business and it’s true. However, large majorities believe that networking is only done face-to-face, which is in fact incorrect. Yes, networking events are common in a lot of businesses, but if you would like to connect with another person or business there are alternative ways, such as: email, phone, or connecting on business social media platforms like LinkedIn. Limiting yourself to just one outlet to connect with someone limits your opportunity of actually making an impact. Using your EQ for successful networking and maintaining professional relationships, will set you apart from your competition!

The 3 Ways of Using Your EQ For Successful Networking:

1. You know your desired outcome

Being self-aware, and understanding what you want is a huge element of networking. Whether it is getting a new job, connecting with potential clients, or talking to fellow employees; your ambition to get the result you want will be higher if you know what you need and want. Before you go to an event, pick up the phone or send an email to a potential business connection to open communication up. Think to yourself why do you want to talk to them? And what is the ideal outcome from this connection?

2. You are more aware of others

There are two parties involved in networking: you and the other person(s) you are connecting with. Having emotional intelligence, allows you to not only understand your emotions but others around you as well. When having a conversation with another person, it is important to have the ability to pick up on their reactions, responses, and emotions throughout the conversation – It will help you with what and how you say things.

3. You are able to express yourself

It is important to be yourself when networking or meeting new people, and self-expression helps you do that. Once you work on your EI muscles, you will be given the strength to become assertive which, in networking, is crucial. Being able to walk into a room and exude confidence and a powerful personality will not only help you connect with others but make a lasting impression.

3 Important Things to Remember when Networking

1. Don’t only talk about work

It is important to make a true connection and build positive relationships, and if you only focus on and talk about work, chances are you will leave an unimpressionable mark on the other party. Small talk can be at times tricky, but find something both parties have in common and go from there!

2. Be creative

If you network via email or LinkedIn, make sure the message is memorable. If you are trying to get a job that you know requires a portfolio of some kind, be ahead of the game and submit a sample piece in your message.

3. Stay in contact

The biggest mistake people make is to wait for the other party to reach out first. Remember to ask for their business card, email address or phone number. After your first encounter, it is always a good idea to send a follow-up email or phone call to show your interest in them and it will leave a great impression.

To discover more about your level of EQ and how to improve on it, check out our free emotional intelligence tools! 

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your company and team members, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you’re looking to build your EQ for successful networking, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram to keep up with our latest blogs!

20 Great Public Speaking Tips

20 Great Public Speaking Tips

Preparation is one of the most important factors in determining the success of your presentation! Every professional in the world must practise to standout in their field, from athletes to doctors, preparation is key, and your presentation should not be the exception.

Below are 20 useful public speaking tips we provide clients trying to improve their presentation skills.

 
1.  Know your material

Know more about it than you include in your speech. You must know your material in a way that you understand it inside and out, you know how the audience will relate and receive it and are able to portray why it is important.

 
2.  Do not have notes

Do not bring cue cards or any kind of notes to the front of the room.  Notes may tempt you to read instead of speak to the audience. No one likes to listen to someone who is reading.

 
3.  Do not memorize your speech

Use conversational language and change your language every time you practice – that way you won’t easily forget what you are trying to say.  Know the “jest” of your content, but do not memorize.

 
4.  6 x 6 rule

If you use a slideshow (PowerPoint/Prezi), use a maximum of 6 words per point, 6 points per slide.

 
5.  Dress appropriately

Wear suitable clothing appropriate for the audience and venue.  Make sure the clothing does not draw unwanted attention on you.  You want them focusing on your speech, not your clothes.

 
6.  Remember the 4 P’s in Public Speaking – watch your power, pace, pitch and pause
  • Power is the volume of delivery;
  • The pace is the rate of delivery;
  • Pitch is the tone of sounds ranging from high to low;
  • Pause is a temporary stop, which can be an effective tool to maintain attention, gives the presenter time to breathe and the audience time to think about what was said.
 
7.  Practice, practice, practice!

Rehearse out loud with all equipment you plan on using. Arrive early, and test out the audiovisual equipment first prior to starting your presentations.

 
8.  Work to control filler words such as uhm’s and ah’s

Practice, pause and breathe. Practice with a friend, and/or record yourself to catch all of your filler words prior to your presentation day.

 
9.  Relax

Begin by addressing the audience. It buys you time and calms your nerves. Pause, smile and count to three before saying anything. (“One one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand. Pause. Begin.”) Transform nervous energy into enthusiasm.

 
10. Don’t apologize

Don’t apologize for any nervousness, problem, or mistake – the audience probably never noticed it.  When you apologize, you just draw more attention to the error.

 
11.  When it comes to visuals – less is more

Visual aids are most appealing with impactful images and less words.  When you have too many words on your visuals, it can be used as a crutch, and the presenter may be tempted to read off the screen/slide rather than looking at the audience.

Consider this quote from Robert Frost, Instructor and Flight Controller at NASA “A presentation should not be just a data dump. If our goal is just to provide data, then we would be better off cancelling the presentation and just sending out the data. The presenter is providing a perspective that the data cannot provide, by itself.”

 
12.  Watch your body language

Only 7% of what people hear are your actual words.  55% of what people hear is what they see or feel, which includes: gestures, posture, facial expressions, dress and grooming, eye contact, and touches and gestures.  38% is what people hear is your tone of voice, vocal clarity, verbal expressiveness.  Watch what your body and tone is actually saying to the audience.

 
13.  Eye contact

Make sure you look into the eyes of your audience.  Have good eye contact and scan the room.  Hold one person’s eyes for a complete thought and then move to someone else.  Imagine you are having a one-on-one conversation with that person. Do this in a zigzag fashion to connect with as many people as possible.

 
14.  Concentrate on the message – not the medium

Focus your attention away from your own anxieties and concentrate on your message and your audience.  It’s never about you; it’s all about your audience.

 
15.  Know your purpose

What do you want to say in your speech, and what do you want the audience to leave with; what do you want the audience to think, say or do after listening to your presentation.

 
16.  Three main components of a speech

Make sure you have the main three components in your speech – opening/introduction, body (usually three points), and conclusion/closing.

 
17.  Smile and the world smiles at you

One of the simple social pleasures of life, which goes almost unnoticed because it’s automatic, is when you smile at someone and they smile back.  Smiling can relax your nerves, and when the audience is smiling back at you, it boosts your confidence.  Smiling is something that is understood by everyone despite culture, race, or religion; it is internationally known.

 
18.  Watch your gestures

Keep your hands out of your pockets.  Do not fidget with hair, glasses, clothing, pens, etc.

 
19.  Use professional language

Do not use slang and casual language such as ”you guys” ”like” ”cause”.  This is a business presentation, so please be business-like.

 
20.  Think positive and visualize yourself giving an impactful speech

Imagine yourself speaking, your voice loud, clear and confident. Visualize the audience clapping – it will boost your confidence. Realize that people want you to succeed. Audiences want you to be interesting, stimulating, informative and entertaining. They’re rooting for you.

Need more tips? Get in contact with the EI Experience team to see how we can help your public speaking today.