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3 Ways Mentors Can Change Your Life

3 Ways Mentors Can Change Your Life

Have you ever considered taking action in pursuing something totally different from where you are now, but were unsure if it would be the right move? Have you ever thought of how to make that move, but were unsure of how to do it? If your answer is yes to either of these questions, then you may want to think of finding yourself a mentor.

Whether the life changes you are debating to make are large in scale, for example, jump-starting a career change or beginning a new business venture, or if they are as simple as purchasing new furniture or deciding new hobbies to take on, having someone there for you can clarify your decisions and enhance your experience.

The value of mentorship in your personal and professional life

1. Pulls You Out Of Your Comfort Zone

If you ever observe young children, you would see the keenness in their eyes when they see someone that shares their interests or acts in a way that they desire to act. For instance, their fascination with magicians.

When they first see magicians, children become in awe. They are amazed at what magicians can make disappear and appear out of hats, and magicians’ ability to cut people in half. For a while, after the children leave the magic show, they try and emulate magicians, putting on magic shows at home for their family and friends. Too often, though, those same kids can’t seem to master magic, lose interest, and move on to the next thing. Why is that? Well, when magicians perform their shows for children, they do not get the chance after the show to teach these children their magic tricks. So, for these impressionable children, they do not get to develop their magic skills from someone that shares their interests and has skills in an area they want to grow in.

Adults are no different. Do you want to grow an interest into more than a hobby? If someone has something you want, you need to learn how he or she got it. “If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.” How we perceive ourselves and who we are can be defined by whom we surround ourselves with. We all too often become comfortable with where we are sitting and never really leave our comfort zones and venture out.

Mentors normally have something you want – whether that is knowledge, a different way of thinking, or connections in the industry. For instance, a company mentorship program can help extend your horizons, build, and strengthen your relationships with other people who have more experience in an area you don’t. When we finally get out of our comfort zones, then we are able to see where we are falling short, and realize where we can improve, and that is where the magic happens.

2. The Nudge – A Different Perspective

Mentors have been doing what you want to be doing, sometimes, for many years. They have previously experienced things that you are now just beginning to face, and have already put in countless hours of blood, sweat, and tears. They have the wisdom you need; you can learn from their mistakes. This is why, if the right mentor has been chosen, they can give you the nudge to start on your pursuit of happiness and self-fulfillment.

We are all social beings. We are attracted to people that have similar values, beliefs, and life experiences, which help build a strong foundation of trust. Finding a mentor that understands where you are coming from – your strengths and development opportunities and where your goals and aspirations lie – will make it easier for you to push through the challenging times that may lie ahead.

Mentors have a way of igniting the passion for their mentees by giving them a different perspective. Those that may have thought little about their abilities and how far their skills could take them might think otherwise if only they had a mentor behind them to push them to strive for greater things. The importance of mentorship lies in its ability to shed light on how you could do things differently, which could accelerate you in the right direction.

3. Expedite Your Journey

When we look at mentorship from the lens of a writer, we can see that writers are well versed in articulating their ideas and stories; however, it is their editor who gets their work from good to great. Mentors, much like editors, can help you go through your work with a fine-tooth comb – they can help you navigate your way.

Mentors are not people that tell you what to do. Mentors are people who help in guiding you in the right direction. For individuals trying to progress higher and leap forward, it may take years and years for them to get to their destination. However, having a mentor can shorten the learning curve required to get up there.

Mentors help us avoid mistakes that can be costly and time-consuming to our personal and professional progressions. They help in making sure that we don’t reach a point where we have to say, “If I had only known back then, what I know now.” It is important to take seriously what your mentors have to say. After all, they have been walking in your shoes for much longer than you have.

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your organization, 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 employee mentorship programs within your company, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

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How to Build Quality Relationships

How to Build Quality Relationships

In the corporate world, it’s easy to see the importance of relationships, and the benefits they can bring to your business. Mike Fishbein, in his book, Stop Networking!: Building Relationships, Meeting New People and Connecting with Authenticity, highlights the importance of truly connecting with others on a deeper level versus the superficial niceties we are expected to do at networking events. “Both consciously and subconsciously, people are motivated to do business with people they know, like, and trust.” This means you can’t just try to develop a relationship with someone because you want/need something from them. There needs to be a benefit to both parties. Not to mention, people know when you are trying to befriend them for ulterior motives. This is where emotional intelligence comes in…we need to strengthen our interpersonal skills and develop mutually satisfying relationships in business.

Dale Carnegie, in his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, states, “If we want to make friends, let’s put ourselves out to do things for other people – things that require time, energy, unselfishness, and thoughtfulness.” This means we need to learn to be more supportive. Being socially responsible means caring about others and contributing to the community. That community may be the community in which they live, the organization in which they work, or the people in which they lead. In essence, it means giving back.

On a personal level, we all know how much high-quality relationships matter. Brandon Burchard, in his e-book, Transformation Truths, states, “Much of the quality of your life depends on the quality of your relationships. Healthy relationships are those that support your well-being and growth.” Having strong connections with others satisfy a basic human need for us to be close to and supported by others. Many studies show, we are happier, healthier, and can even live longer when we have solid relationships in our lives. Helen Keller, an American author, political activist, and lecturer, who also happened to be the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree said it best, “walking alone in the dark with a friend is better than walking alone in the light.”

So, knowing all of this, why is taking time to strengthen our relationships put on hold so often? Many people have difficulties networking & building professional and/or personal relationships.  For some people, the ability to build strong connections comes naturally, for others it is a challenge.

Here are four simple tips to deepen your relationships:

1. Schedule It

Often we get so caught up in the daily activities that we don’t stop to take time to strengthen our relationships. It’s important to schedule time for friends, whether it is a week in advance, or a month.  Make sure you have a specific date picked out to spend time together. By actually scheduling a specific date instead of saying something like, “let’s hang out next week sometime” will dramatically increase the chances that it will happen.  Tony Robbins states,  “If you talk about it, it’s a dream, if you envision it, it’s possible, but if you schedule it, it’s real.”  When you actually schedule something in your life, you are making it a priority in your life.

2. Disconnect to Connect

With technology limiting our face-to-face interaction, building strong relationships is more valuable and more challenging than ever before.  When you are out with others, be it business or pleasure, unplug and listen!  Today, the majority of our communications are filtered through virtual media devices.  Multitasking is commonplace. When you put your phone down and listen, you will improve your listening skills and become a better friend or business partner. The quality of time you are spending will improve, and it will give your brain the much-needed break from the next item on your to-do list.

3. Don’t Be Judgemental

As we get older, we tend to settle into our daily routine and can start to judge others who may do things differently than us. It’s important to be open-minded and realize that different people do different things. Jim Morrison, lead singer of the Doors stated it best, “A friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself.” Instead of judging your relationships, try instead to understand the person. Use your emotional intelligence and empathy skills, and try to put yourself in their shoes. This open-mindedness could create an opportunity to face a problem in your life with a different perspective, open up the potential of a business idea, or make you more effective at communicating with that challenging team member.

4. Stay Connected

Making time is important, but staying connected when you are not physically together is just as important.  Like most of us, our schedule fills up quickly, the to-do list is never-ending, and you forget to schedule time for yourself, let alone your friends. Your friends, peers, or subordinates will appreciate you checking in, even if you don’t have time to get that face-to-face time scheduled.

Follow these four simple tips and you will be one step closer to building stronger friendships!

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your organization, 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 building quality relationships in your organization, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

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Coaching: Don’t Press Send On That Email!

Coaching: Don’t Press Send On That Email!

Have you ever sent an email message and then regretted it after it was too late?

A rule of thumb should be that whenever you need to have a difficult conversation or give feedback, you do it face-to-face, never send an email.

Words in an email are powerful and can be misconstrued.

 

BODY LANGUAGE SPEAKS VOLUME

Did you know…only 7% of what people hear are words, 38% is the tone of voice, and 55% is body language.  Both the tone of your words, and your body language cannot be seen or heard in an email; therefore, email communication can often be interpreted incorrectly, and the message may not be received with the intention it was sent.

Workplace coaching face-to-face is necessary to ensure your feedback is received appropriately when the need for a difficult conversation arises. Michael Massari, the VP of Caesars Entertainment, discusses with Forbes the importance of face-to-face communication and its impact on collaboration. Regardless of the industry, all businesses require the need to create prosperous partnerships, and that is done through building trust and engaging others in face-to-face communication.

Now, if you are investing this time into business partnerships outside of your organization, you should definitely be investing the same time into your people.

 

So, what drives effective leaders to make email mistakes?

Impulse control.

One of the 15 competencies in EQ-i 2.0 model developed by Multi-Health Systems (MHS) is impulse control – the ability to resist or delay an impulsive, drive, or temptation to act.

It is your impulse control that leads you to spew off a clever and snappy reply to the person who just sent you a nasty email.

But wait, breathe and figure out a strategy on how you are going to broach the difficult subject in person, face-to-face.

Like building any muscle…you need to work it to become stronger. To have bigger biceps, you need to do more bicep curls.

In order to build your emotional muscles, you need to work them.  To become better at controlling your impulses, you need to resist the temptation and don’t send an email, even if you really, really want to.

 

Impulse Control Best Practices

Try these best practices for Feedback that Works from the Harvard Business Review:

  1. Focus on business outcomes
  2. Give feedback often
  3. Don’t assume you are right
  4. Ask questions
  5. Follow-through
  6. Gather feedback on how you give feedback

Use the business outcome as an opportunity to solve problems rather than criticize the person you are speaking with. This allows for the chance for you to align your goals and find a solution together.

“Difficult feedback is rarely about getting the facts right, it’s about conflicting views, feelings and values. Reasonable people differ about all of these things.” – Robert Witherspoon

When you are coaching someone you should be looking at the whole picture, the business goals, their perspective, and the follow-through if necessary. Conducting these meetings face-to-face will build rapport, encourage your team, and develop their commitment to growth, so don’t do it over email!

Take a minute to reflect on your impulse control, does it affect how you respond to your team? Do you fall victim to your impulse control and press send too quickly?

To learn more about emotional intelligence and the purpose of coaching 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 with coaching and mentoring in the workplace, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

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