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Web Worthy: This Week's Mentoring Roundup Series

MentorCloud's Web Worthy series is a curated list of the best mentoring articles and stories from the past week. Check in every Thursday for inspiration, guidance, and practical advice on everything related to mentoring! 

The Takeaway: 

How a mentor helps you find the better version of yourself by Stacia Pierce via Fortune

  • "A good mentor will give you guidance, but also hold you accountable for your successes and failures. Accountability is the best inspiration because it keeps you working at a higher level–you won’t want to disappoint yourself or your mentor."

Life After Mentorship by Kate Everson via Chief Learning Officer

  • "Participants in mentorships have to recognize when the relationship is dying and transition smoothly into its afterlife. Not only does this help mentors and mentees move on to other experiences, but it also keeps an organization from fostering dependent employees."

51 Set to Graduate from Judge Judy's Her Honor Mentoring Program by Alfred Branch via White Plains Patch

  • “ 'It is my profound wish that having had the experience of Her Honor Mentoring will help these fine young women become the heroes of their own stories,' ” said Judge Sheindlin in a statement."

Mentoring for Productivity by Randy Emelo via Association for Talent Development

  • "Savvy organizations have started using mentoring as a productivity tool, going well beyond its traditional role as a personal development tool geared toward career moves and career advancement."

Why Boomers Make The Best Mentors by John Tarnoff via Huffington Post The Blog

  • "We've seen success work from many angles, so our wisdom helps us tailor our mentorship in the most appropriate and effective way, ensuring a more resonant and enduring experience for our mentee."

 

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Need Fulfillment: Mentorship Where It's Needed Most

Everyone can benefit from a mentor's guidance, no matter what role they hold at work. A mentor's goal is to help mentees get from where they are to where they want to be, and this applies to all stages of the career path. That being said, there are a few specific scenarios in which a mentor would have the most positive impact on a mentee's happiness and success.

First Job

Young, would-be professionals just starting out in business are sometimes the best-suited candidates for mentorship. Their minds are fresh and eager to learn. They’re full of ideas about what they want to do, skills and knowledge acquired from their studies, and a sturdy enthusiasm to make a name for themselves. A mentor paired with one of these promising individuals is the ultimate guide. Their years spent gaining knowledge and fine-tuning their careers is a special gift to someone trying to learn the ropes and gain some insight about which direction their career will go.

New Company

Like brand new employees in many ways, these individuals are trying to find their way. They may be plagued by uncertainty and, in the beginning, are just trying to find their place in the company and fit in among their new colleagues. An effective mentor, especially one from within the company, can ease the transition for someone in this scenario. They already know the hierarchy within the company, the lines of communication, and who is responsible for what. Mentors can introduce policies and procedures to new employees, but even more than that, they can help them find a path to advancement.

Premature Promotion

Despite all good intentions, some employees are promoted before they are ready. They may have all the superior skills necessary to master their current roles, but lack the finesse an upward transition requires. If they’re advanced to management without any management skills, they may flounder. Here is where a mentor can serve as a confidant and much-needed source of support. They can show the employee how to apply their strengths to the demands of a new position and how to improve on their weaknesses. They can also provide insight on challenges they faced in similar transitions and give examples of how they were successful.

At-Risk Employee

There’s no question that companies of all sizes and cultures are having a hard time keeping employees engaged. It’s becoming more and more common for individuals to have multiple employers listed on their resumes, their work history serving as a virtual roadmap of discontent. Employees don’t always know what they’re looking for; they just know they aren’t finding it in their current role, so they start seeking fulfillment elsewhere. Mentors can help these employees pinpoint what they’re looking for in a job and employer, as well as help them determine how they might find those within their current company. They can connect them with the right people who can get them the training they need to get to where they want to be. 

If you fit into any of these scenarios, or you have employees who do, think about seeking mentorship. They're the ones best suited to help you overcome barriers and realize your career goals. 

If this post resonated with you, check with your organization to see whether you are part of the MentorCloud network. If not, sign up for a demo here! Our vision is to create a mentoring planet in which true equality is achieved and hard work is rewarded, but it's only possible with your participation.

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MentorCloud Powers MentorConnect at TiEcon 2015

Expands Footprint to 61 TiE Chapters in 18 Countries

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/28/15 -- MentorCloud, the leader in online mentoring, today announced that its partnership with the MentorConnect program at TieCon 2015 (that took place in Santa Clara Convention Center on May 15th and 16th) was a huge success. "With 500 live mentoring sessions on both days combined, this is the largest mentoring event in TiE's 21-year history," said Prakash Narayan, Chair of TiE MentorConnect. "We have had huge success with the MentorCloud platform, that saves us precious time year after year to schedule hundreds of meetings between mentors and entrepreneurs attending this largest annual conference for entrepreneurs," Prakash added.

TiEcon attracts a stellar spectrum of incredible people from successful entrepreneurs to corporate executives to venture capitalists from all over the world who are usually not easily accessible to entrepreneurs. The MentorConnect program at TiEcon makes that access possible using the MentorCloud platform, and directly connects TiEcon attendees to a Mentor of their choice in a structured, scalable manner. "Over the last few years, MentorConnect has turned out to be one of the key draws of TiEcon. MentorConnect and TiE50 are the two gems of TiEcon. To me TiEcon is THE premier ensemble of Talent, Industriousness and Entrepreneurism on an annual basis at a global scale. It's a shining gem in itself," said Sarvajna Dwivedi, Co-Founder & Chief Scientific Officer of Pearl Therapeutics, one of the Mentors that participated in the event.

"Mentoring has been the epicenter of TiE's mission in all our chapters in 61 cities and 18 countries. MentorCloud has developed a great track record in enabling mentoring with great results in Silicon Valley and Hong Kong. I am very excited to now roll out MentorCloud across our entire network. Now mentees across the world can benefit tremendously and help us fulfill our mission to foster entrepreneurship globally," shared Al Kapoor, Chairman of TiE Board and President of Millennium Ventures Group along with Bridgett Comer, Executive Director of TiE Global.

MentorCloud is also announcing the general availability of its 2.0 next generation platform for medium-sized to Fortune 50 companies and entrepreneur networks. "MentorCloud 2.0 platform is being received extremely well by our global customers, and we are super excited by our growing partnership with an organization of global repute like TiE," said Dr. Ravi Gundlapalli, CEO of MentorCloud.

Supporting Resources

For more information, check out our website at www.MentorCloud.com, or reach us on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

About MentorCloud®

MentorCloud is a cloud-based social learning and mentoring platform for medium-sized to Fortune 50 companies, and entrepreneur networks. MentorCloud's easy-to-use interface allows employees and entrepreneurs to share/learn insights from one another, establish mentoring relationships and in the process accelerate their learning and career growth. Dashboards and big data analytics allow business leaders to quickly identify rising stars and high-potentials in their organizations.

With clients in 7 countries, MentorCloud has been featured in ForbesForbes India, World Demographic Forum in Switzerland, World Bank / Kauffman Foundation publication, and also acknowledged by former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Please may visithttp://www.mentorcloud.com to learn more or watch this 4-min interview of our founder sharing MentorCloud's vision. If you are looking to boost employee learning, productivity, engagement and retention, then drop us a note to schedule a personalized demo.

Embedded Video Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4a8pFVGS_w

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Web Worthy: A Weekly Mentoring Roundup (May 22 - 28)

MentorCloud's Web-Worthy series is a curated list of the best mentoring articles and stories from the past week. Check in every Thursday for inspiration, guidance, and practical advice on everything related to mentoring! 

The Takeaway:  

  • The Sherpa Approach to Mentoring by Leo Lax via Entrepreneur 
    • "Entrepreneurs live in an environment with thousands of goals and opportunities, and a thousand more different ways to get there. The value of a mentor is to provide focus, help determine which path will likely lead to success and hand over the reins for implementation."
  • Mentor Others for Your Own Professional Development by Margaret Ruvoldt via Huffington Post
    • "Mentoring requires a more personal connection and a willingness to share your own journey. To have effective mentoring conversations, you must have a higher level of self-awareness and self-reflection. Your professional journey is a kind of blueprint for those you mentor. In order to guide them, you have to have a deep understanding of how you got to where you are, be purposeful in thinking about your own skills and knowledge."

  • Why this CEO believes in multiple mentors by Caroyn Rodz via Fortune
    • "Each individualcontributes a unique perspective based on their ownexperiences, and together they are my sounding board when faced with difficult and important decisions. In return, I support them in their endeavors and share my expertise when needed. Remember: a mentorship will only be beneficial if both (or all) parties areequally invested in the relationship."
  • Top 10 Qualities of a Good Mentor by Penny Loretto via About Careers 
    • "8. Sets and meets ongoing personal and professional goals.
      A good mentor continually sets a good example by showing how his/her personal habits are reflected by personal and professional goals and overall personal success."

  • Business Mentoring Matters: How to Prepare for Your Meeting With Your Mentor via Management Mentors
    • "Asking a person to consider avoids their need to respond yes or no immediately––which makes it more likely they may say yes. Also, clearly stating the time commitment you are requesting is important. After all, timing is an important issue to consider. Not only WHEN to ask someone to be your mentor, but HOW MUCH time you are asking them to invest in you."

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Q&A: The Art of Inquiry in Mentoring

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A successful mentoring program is built on relationship, and the life vein of any relationship is communication. You can’t build trust, collaborate on goals, measure progress, or transfer knowledge—all important elements of a strong mentoring relationship—without maintaining strong and effective communication.

In Tune in: The Importance of Listening in Mentoring, we explained how listening, an important element of communication, is an essential quality in a good mentor. But there is another element of good communication that is even more important than listening, and that is the ability to ask the right questions.

The right question can mean the difference between clarity and confusion. Both mentors and mentees can benefit equally from this skill. With the right questions, mentors can gain a thorough understanding of a mentee's current skillset, what they hope to gain from the mentorship, and what fears or doubts might be holding them back.

In turn, mentees can use intelligently developed questions to help them understand a mentor’s background and how it relates to their role as a mentor, the mentor’s expectations, and how their mentor defines success. All of these things are key ingredients to a mentorship that starts out strong and will stand the test of time.

There are many different question types and techniques, but some of them are especially suited for a mentoring relationship:

Open vs. Closed Questions

Open and closed questions are similar in the sense that both methods are designed to elicit a specific type of answer. Open questions are geared toward developing conversation. They aim for long, detailed answers that deliver lots of information. Closed questions, on the other hand, elicit short answers designed to communicate facts.

Example (Open Question): What are your primary career goals?

Example (Closed Question): How many mentees have you had in your career?

Structured Questions

Structured questions are designed to inform the respondent of the reasoning behind a set of questions. This creates the setting for an open Q&A geared toward developing comfortable dialogue with the respondent.

Example: In order for us to set expectations for the mentorship, I’ll need to ask you a few questions about your goals and intentions.

Utilize Wait-time, or Silence

A strategically placed pause or extended silence between questions creates space in a Q&A session. This method is used for emphasis as well as to draw out a response. Pausing before or after a question or statement also gives the respondent time to evaluate the question being asked and devise a thoughtful answer.

Example: You have the potential to become a leader in your career…Can you tell me the defining characteristics of a good leader?

Socratic Questioning

The great philosopher Socrates was famous for using questions to promote learning. This method of questioning is designed to encourage respondents to go deeper by communicating the thought process behind their answers. Respondents are asked to analyze their answers and explain why they have a certain thought or feel a certain way. The purpose is to gain a thorough understanding of their goals.

Example: What is your idea of success? Can you explain what this definition of success means to you?

Questioning to Elicit Participation

This method of questioning is especially suited for group mentoring sessions. In a group setting, it’s all too easy for less outspoken individuals to retreat into the crowd. Questions designed to elicit participation aim to draw these individuals out and encourage them to interact with the group. In this way, shy mentees gain just as much from the session as outgoing ones.

Example: What do you look for in a mentor? Turn to your neighbor and explain your answer.  

Managed Responses

Finally, a thoughtful response can be just as important as a question, and it can sometimes yield the information you didn’t gain from the question. In mentoring, there are no “wrong” answers, but there is often a need for further clarification of a respondent’s ideas. Responses can be used for encouragement, validation, redirection, or to provide context.

Example: Your answer is a little vague. Can you say it in a different way?

There are other methods of questioning that may be useful in mentoring, such as probing, rhetorical, or process questioning. Ultimately, it’s up to both participants to decide how best to use questioning to build the relationship and gain the knowledge they need to reach the program goals.  

If this post resonated with you, check with your organization to see whether you are part of the MentorCloud network. If not, sign up for a demo here! Our vision is to create a mentoring planet in which true equality is achieved and hard work is rewarded, but it's only possible with your participation.

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Web Worthy: This Week's Mentoring Roundup Series

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The growing buzz around the importance of mentoring in business is catching on. People are talking. From esteemed business platforms like Bloomberg Business to leading news outlets like The Huffington Post, mentoring is gaining an expanding audience.

Why are so many major corporations talking about mentoring? MentorCloud CEO Ravi Gundlapalli says that "mentoring is the best thing since sliced bread." The biggest lessons for those seeking mentorship seems to be, "Find one, because it's not going to come looking for you." 

Below is a list of recent mentoring stories, curated specially by the MentorCloud team. Check back in next Thursday for more major publications on the topic of mentoring.

Why You Should Be a Mentor by Stephanie Burns via Forbes Woman

The do's and don'ts of an effective mentor by Shannon Schuyler via Fortune

What Should You Look for in a Mentor? by Joseph Kopser via Huff Post Impact

How Many Engineers Does It Take to Inspire a Teenager? by Nick Hutchinson via edSurge

Why mentoring is unlike any other professional relationship by Jenni Luke via Fortune 

 

 

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Web Worthy: This Week's Mentoring Roundup Series

Dollarphotoclub_78812667.jpg

The growing buzz around the importance of mentoring in business is catching on. People are talking. From esteemed business platforms like Bloomberg Business to leading news outlets like The Huffington Post, mentoring is gaining an expanding audience.

Why are so many major corporations talking about mentoring? MentorCloud CEO Ravi Gundlapalli says that "mentoring is the best thing since sliced bread." The biggest lessons for those seeking mentorship seems to be, "Find one, because it's not going to come looking for you." 

Below is a list of recent mentoring stories, curated specially by the MentorCloud team. Check back in next Thursday for more major publications on the topic of mentoring.

4 things your boss won't tell you (but a mentor will) by Penny Herscher via Fortune 

Is mentoring necessary for career advancement? by Teresa Briggs via Fortune 

This Bank of America exec helped create a virtual mentoring program to connect women around the world by Hilary Burns via Bizwomen of The Business Journals

The Most Valuable Lessons I've learned from my mentor by Jessica Mattern via Fast Company

The Rise of the Knowledge Mentor by Dorothy Leonard via CLO Magazine

 

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Profile: The Personality Traits of a Good Mentor

Whether you’re an experienced mentor or taking on a mentee for the first time, you’ll benefit from learning and/or reinforcing certain personality traits that will greatly enhance your mentoring skills. We all have different personalities and attitudes, and both can change over the course of time with experience. Below is a list of some good habits that can be picked up along the way to becoming a better mentor.

The ability to listen: Being a good listener is one of the most important qualities a mentor can possess. It communicates to your mentees that you care about them and value what they have to say. It builds trust by allowing mentees to explain and share issues openly. If a mentee senses that you will listen to him or her without judgment or interruption, they’ll be more likely to share thoughts and opinions they feel strongly about. Listening with patience and understanding will allow you to connect with your mentees on a deeper level.

The ability to empathize: There’s a difference between being sympathetic and being empathetic. Being empathetic to your mentees’ struggles is not just about compassion; rather, it is about personally identifying with the experiences your mentees are going through. Empathy demonstrates that you understand the challenges they face, and that you’ve faced those same challenges in your own career. Showing true empathy will assure mentees that you are concerned with their betterment, and that they have your full support in the career choices they make. The connection forged by empathy can build a mentoring relationship that will sustain for years to come.

The ability to give constructive feedback: Providing constructive feedback to your mentees puts them in a space where they can acknowledge their weak areas. Acknowledgement is the first step in turning those weaknesses into strengths, and your feedback is the catalyst. By evaluating the progress of a mentoring program, you as the mentor can draw conclusions and prepare feedback for your mentees that is designed to challenge them and encourage them to work harder. This trait in a mentor will add more value to mentoring sessions, and will motivate mentees to continually put forth effort to improve.

Maintaining professionalism: Professionalism is a key factor in any mentorship program, because your mentee looks up to you as an experienced individual and expert in your field. By reinforcing expectations, documenting sessions, maintaining time-schedules, giving regular feedback, and holding mentees accountable, you’ll maintain professionalism throughout the relationship and communicate to mentees that you take the program seriously.

Accepting innovative ideas: Your role as a mentor is to be a guide and trusted advisor who never imposes your ideas or biases on your mentees. A mentor must be open to new and innovative ideas shared by their mentees. This is especially applicable for mentors in a startup where entrepreneurs are bubbling with ideas. If you don’t understand an idea or don’t believe in its feasibility, then it’s your job to clarify by asking questions and to clearly outline your reservations. Your goal is not to discourage ideas that are unfamiliar to you, but to motivate mentees into explaining how they would make them work.

Sharing skills and knowledge without hesitation: An ideal mentor does not see his/her mentee as a competitor or a threat. Your job is to help your mentees grow, which means you must be willing to share essential professional and personal skills. By giving mentees an opportunity to learn from the knowledge you have gained, you are giving them an advantage that perhaps you never had in your career, and that is extremely rewarding.

Staying positive: As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Likewise, mentoring cannot produce great results overnight. It takes patience, commitment, and perseverance to give mentees the time they need to grow and learn. Even though challenges may arise and frustrations may brew, it helps to stay positive and maintain a cool head. Your actions and words in this regard will teach mentees the value of maintaining a positive attitude.

Mentors who possess these traits will have consistent success with their mentorships. Write them down on a piece of paper and return to it on a regular basis to check in and make sure you're constantly exhibiting these traits in your mentorships. 

If this post resonated with you, check with your organization to see whether you are part of the MentorCloud network. If not, sign up for a demo here! Our vision is to create a mentoring planet in which true equality is achieved and hard work is rewarded, but it's only possible with your participation.


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Web Worthy: This Week's Mentoring Roundup Series

The growing buzz around the importance of mentoring in business is catching on. People are talking. From esteemed business platforms like Bloomberg Business to leading news outlets like The Huffington Post, mentoring is gaining an expanding audience.

Why are so many major corporations talking about mentoring? MentorCloud CEO Ravi Gundlapalli says that "mentoring is the best thing since sliced bread." The biggest lessons for those seeking mentorship seems to be, "Find one, because it's not going to come looking for you." 

Below is a list of recent mentoring stories, curated specially by the MentorCloud team. Check back in next Thursday for more major publications on the topic of mentoring.

Mentoring Entrepreneurs: Tough Love and the Truth featuring Endeavor CEO and founder Linda Rottenberg via Bloomberg Surveillance 

5 Things to Look for in Your Next Incredible Mentor by Christina Desmarais via Inc.

Shark Tank's Lori Greiner on the Importance of Mentorship by Carly Okyle via Entrepreneur 

If You Think You Don't Need a Mentor, Think Again by Zenaida Lorenzo via Huff Post Women

Reverse Mentoring - Investing in Tomorrow's Business Strategy by Joshua Steimle via Forbes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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