Submitted By: Kate Andersen, Director of Succession Management
I recently had the honor to speak on a panel about one of my most passionate topics these days…MENTORING! MentorcliQ hosted a conference called, MentorCom in Ohio. When the invitation came along in early May, I was very excited to be asked to speak on the panel and to share our mentoring journey with other attendees. As the months and days inched closer, my nerves began to set in. This was my first opportunity to do something at this level, yes of course, I love to talk and present to our own team members, but to speak at this capacity was out of my comfort zone. But as they say, “if you’re comfortable, you are not growing,” so let the growing begin.
Prior to the conference, MentorcliQ did provide us with the topics of the panel discussion. Once receiving the questions, I sat down in front of my computer and really told our story. Being so invested into our TEAM UP Program, I found it so easy to share our experience…on paper, that is. So, what did I do? Get advice from my mentor, President Otto Bielss, of course! Best decision ever; not only did he give me a different perspective on my answers to these panel questions, he also gave me the confidence I needed to take the challenge head on and know that I belong—thank you Otto!
Fast-forward to the big day—our time started at 1:30PM, right after lunch. During the morning agenda, we had many great speakers who spoke about Strategic Mentoring Framework, The Science of Matching, how to Recruit and Develop Quality Mentors, as well as Empowering Women Leaders through mentoring. The workshops were jam-packed with knowledge sharing as well as breakout sessions for networking opportunities. It was great to have the opportunity to discuss and learn from other companies’ programs.
Then the panel began: I got to share the stage with four other peers from other companies—I can now call them peers, because even though we were from different parts of the country we all have similar stories and built great relationships during the conference. The panel lasted 90 minutes and there was never an awkward, quiet moment. We discussed our challenges and of course our successes. We had all the questions: the who, what, when, where, and why. Why did we start a mentor program? How did we go about the process, what are we doing, what did we learn? How are we continuing to improve? And let me tell you we have an amazing story, an amazing journey, and an amazing future to look forward to with TEAM UP.
If you have not had a chance to patriciate as a mentor or mentee, please do! Whether it be in the formal TEAM UP program or just a new team member starting in your area. Mentoring can be so impactful to all involved. Take a leap of faith and get out of your comfort zone!