by Mindy Santo, Mentoring Coordinator
Only four months after ending her mentoring match, Mentee Leema Lutfi accomplished her top priority in requesting a Mentor: she was promoted!
Momentum loves to celebrate the women in our network! Congratulations to Mentee, Leema Lutfi, for her promotion to Program Coordinator II at UAB Medicine. In late October Leema was matched with “her perfect Mentor,” Monique Shorts. Monique provided the structure and guidance Leema needed to help her reach her goals. Leema committed to the work and followed Monique’s guidance. Leema was the perfect example of a successful Mentee.
Leema shared the following priorities in her “Request for a Mentor”:
- Be promoted within the year
- Overcome frustrations related to her accent
- Learn to manage conflicts professionally and personally
As she and Monique were wrapping up their relationship, Leema shared her tips on how to maximize your time with a mentor:
First, focus on a few specific things:
- Leema learned how to manage conflicts and confrontations productively. Monique helped her develop a technique for approaching conflict that resulted in better outcomes. Leema gained more confidence, which was reflected in her meetings at work as well as in her personal life.
- Monique helped Leema develop and practice her “elevator speech” so that she could easily articulate her value to others.
- Leema struggled with her accent. Monique helped her embrace her accent as a strength rather than be embarrassed by it.
- Leema wanted to negotiate her salary and position. Using the skills she learned with Monique, she was prepared for her promotion several months later.
Second, make the ask. Identify someone you know to be good with the things you need help with and ask them if they would be willing to share their knowledge. Reassure your potential mentor that you are asking for help for a specific time period, not an open-ended engagement! If they are over-committed right now, ask them if they know someone else with a similar skillset who might be willing to mentor.
Third, be open to receiving their advice. You asked for their help. As you receive their thoughts, resist the urge to defend your current state or past actions. Get into a mindset of gratitude…your mentor is there to help you. So saying things like “thank you, I can see how that will be helpful” is the right way to think about it.
Fourth: Do the work. Your mentor is investing their time in you, so it’s your duty to mindfully apply what they are teaching you, to follow up on connections they make for you, and to circle back to them to share the results.
We can’t guarantee you’ll get a promotion within four months like Leema. However, we can tell you, when you fully commit to your mentoring relationship, #Momentumhappens toward your goals!