Business Mentoring Insights

  • International Women of Courage Award

      Last week, at the State Department, first lady Michelle Obama joined Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to present the departments Award for International Women of Courage to seven female activists from Afghanistan, Guatemala, Iraq, Malaysia, Nigeria, Russia and Uzbekistan who have fought to end discrimination and inequality.  Mrs. Obama was quoted saying "As women, we must stand up for ourselves.  As women, we must stand up for each other.  As women, we must stand up for justice for all." Read more

    Fri, Mar, 20, 2009

  • Mentoring Women

    A lot of people refer to March as "March Madness" because of the college and pro basketball games that are shown all over the networks.  But many people are not aware that just recently, in 1987, the US Congress declared it to be National Women's History Month.  Read more

    Thu, Mar, 12, 2009

  • Famous Mentoring Pairs

    Having spoken about examples of good and bad mentoring pairs in fiction, I thought it would be nice to share famous mentoring pairs. Here's a small sample: Read more

    Mon, Mar, 09, 2009

  • An example of a good mentor

    Let's look at another movie example of mentoring: Star Wars  Trilogy. Who's the one person who helps Luke Skywalker develop patience and maturity? Most of you would probably reply that little guy--Yoda--but actually, to some extent, Yoda is more the career coach . He's trying to teach Luke how to use the force. The true mentor  is Obi-Won Kenobi played by Sir Alec Guinness. He's the one who first takes Luke under his wing and guides him through the entire first episode of the trilogy, and he's also the one whose voiceover you hear throughout the series. The difference between Yoda and Obi-Won is that Yoda is more focused on the skills needed to be a good Jedi Knight, whereas Obi-Won is more interested in assisting Luke in being a good person who is also a good Jedi Knight. Both of these guides complement one another and both are valuable to have. Read more

    Fri, Mar, 06, 2009

  • How not to mentor a diverse person!

    I was speaking to a mentor the other day who is in one of my programs. His comment was something to the effect of:  "I'm having a little bit of an issue with my mentoree at the moment. She's a great employee with lots of potential but I think she is not as assertive as she should be to get ahead. I've been suggesting that she be more assertive but finding that she seems to resist my advice.  I'm not sure that I can be helpful?" My response:  "Do you think that you may be inadvertently trying to make her more of a white male rather than exploring what would work for her?" He had an "Aha" moment! A key element in diversity mentoring is making listening and respecting the uniqueness of the individual person rather than giving advice. This way, a mentor avoids the unconscious effort to equate what worked for him/her and what will work for the mentoree. Too often, when white males mentor women or people of color, they provide advice geared more to aping the mentor's behavior rather than discovering, in partnership with the mentoree, what will truly work for them. So when you're mentoring someone, don't look in the mirror-look through the clear glass! Read more

    Mon, Mar, 02, 2009

  • Diversity Change instead of Diversity Training

    As we become more globalized, businesses need to learn how to appreciate diversity and its impact on sales and business development. Even Prince Harry is now getting diversity training recognizing that royalty is not exempt for diversity sensitivity. Read more

    Fri, Feb, 27, 2009

  • When the Mentoring Duo Match is Like a Box of Chocolates

    I was just eating some of my Valentine's Day candy and the infamous line from Forrest Gump  came into my head: "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." Read more

    Fri, Feb, 20, 2009

  • Mentoring Teachers

    It's school vacation week here in Boston, which got me thinking about our city's teachers. Creating mentoring programs for teachers--all teachers--is incredibly important. Imagine you're 22 and you're fresh out of college, and you start working for an elementary, middle, or high school. Sounds overwhelming just to write that sentence! A veteran teacher (mentor) can help guide the new teacher (mentoree) by: Read more

    Wed, Feb, 18, 2009