The Kenyan chapter of WMW walk that is to take place in 15 countries around the world has started with a bang, over 250 ladies attended a workshop on the 15th November at the SSD hall in spring valley, the workshop was designed to equip the women with vital mentorship skills. The soon to be mentors workshop who have all volunteered to ‘pay it forward’ to the next generation of leaders was led by Ms Nyokabi Njuguna,the CEO of marketing strategies solution and an alumni of the Vital voices/fortune 500 mentorship programme assisted by Fostina Mani. The mentee session was led by ms muthoni garland the MD of Storymoja publishers organizers of the women in leadership programme.
These are highlights from Mentee’s presentation:
Working with a Business Mentor
9 career tips:
1. Education – the continuing search for knowledge is the foundation to success. Degrees, diplomas, short courses, workshops etc. – exploit all to increase brainpower.
2. Information – this is the information age. Knowledge is increasingly the key economic driver. Be a surfer girl and harness the vast amount of information on the internet.
3. Communication and interpersonal skills – women are often advantaged in these ‘soft’ skills that lend themselves to newer styles of management that is – less authoritative structures, greater emphasis on team building, partnerships, customer focus etc.
4. Plan your career (and life) – short, medium and long term objectives. You are more likely to get what you want if you have clear goals.
5. Find a mentor – counter advantages of the ‘old boys’ network and bar and golf networks by finding a mentor.
6. Network – and let it (also) be career related. Men network less but more effectively.
7. Project Confidence – given like for like situation, the one who projects more confidence (not necessarily louder) will be more successful.
8. Self promote – do not assume that other people (e.g. bosses) have time, energy or inclination to seek out your successes.
9. Be positive – it is infectious, inspiring, and good to be around. As Barack Obama says, Yes we can!
Based on the following basic guidelines, participants then discussed their own Career Strategies :
1. Imagine your future, say in ten years – what do you do? where do you live? Married? Children? etc. If you struggle to do this, who do you envy, why, and how do you think they live?
2. Rank what matters (most) to you? E.g money, environment, family/friends, health, self expression etc.
3. What are your career goals – 5/10/20 years?
4. What are the steps need to get there?
5. What are the skills sets you need to have/hone at each stage?
What is a mentor?
1. A ‘trusted counselor or guide,’ or ‘a wise, loyal advisor or coach’ who shares their wisdom with you on an ongoing basis
2. Why do they do this? To give back to their community or society at large. And to develop their skills as teacher, manager, strategist or consultant. And to learn new ideas.Yaani, mentorship is a two way process
“Having a mentor allows access to information that may not otherwise be available to you,” says Connie Lindsey, Senior VP, The Northern Trust Co. “That’s because mentors show you the ropes–those that are tangible and intangible. They have insight not only about the mechanics of a company but also the nuances that may be difficult for a new employee to interpret.”
Everybody needs a sounding board. Mentors have usually ‘been there, done that.’ They are (usually) free. Great for expanding your social network.
Specifically, a mentor can:
• Hone your short-term and long-term career strategy
• Gain visibility in the workplace and in your field
• Create opportunities to gain valuable experience
• Change your career path
• Negotiate salary
• Balance work and family
Beware of the dynamics. But do not let negativity poison you or stop you.
• Do not confuse mentoring or coaching with friendship
• Don’t put your mentor in a position where she has to figure it all out for you. Your job is to make the link between what you are told and how you will apply it to your life.
• People want to mentor a rising star not a ‘needy’ one – position yourself accordingly
• Mentoring can be a tool of manipulation, politics and abuse.
• How much credit does a mentor take for your accomplishments?
• Mentor within or outside your company? Competitive company?
• Outgrowing your mentor / Breaking off if relationship does not work
Tips on working with your Business Mentor
“People need to understand mentors are human beings just like mentees are,” says Mike Hyter, president and CEO of Novations/J. Howard & Associates. “We tend to be attracted to strength, not weakness; willing learners, not people who feel entitled … Someone who genuinely loves the(ir) business is contagious. This is a person who’s genuinely trying to grow in the environment they’re in.”
• Take an interest in the person as a human being.
• Be clear about what you’re doing and what you need.
• Listen, listen, listen to what they say.
• Thank the person for their time.
To view Mentors Presentation kindly click here