Kristen Harris is the co-founder and COO of Portfolio Inventive, a workforce innovation agency based mostly in Columbus, Ohio, USA. As a member of the EO Columbus chapter, Kristen is an energetic participant within the EO Mentorship program.
I’ve been matched with seven wonderful native mentors to this point! I’ve additionally served because the chapter Mentorship Chair and on the International Mentorship Subcommittee.
The advantages of mentorship
For me, the most important advantages of getting a mentor have been the power to speak with individuals who have super enterprise expertise—folks I might by no means cross paths with in any other case—and study from their exterior perspective. The surface perspective supported with years of expertise is so precious!
There needs to be an inherent belief issue on this mentoring relationship, so I really feel that I can speak to them about any points or struggles I’m having. I at all times really feel that my mentors have my finest curiosity in thoughts, however are additionally not personally invested within the final result so can they supply completely different and extra balanced suggestions.
“I study quite a bit from each dialog, irrespective of which facet of the desk I’m on.”
After I mentor folks, I’ve gained as a lot from the connection as they could have. It offers me the alternative to spend time speaking about completely different industries, demographics and issues. I study quite a bit from each dialog, irrespective of which facet of the desk I’m on.
The right way to discover the best mentor
I usually choose my mentors on whether or not I like them: Do I need to spend time with them? Do I belief them? As lengthy these issues are in place, I do know I’ll get one thing out of the connection (and hopefully they do, too).
Different components—like their business, their location, their gender—don’t matter as a lot. None of my mentors have been in the identical business, and even associated. Most enterprise points and experiences are common; I discover that the rules are the identical and their perception applies irrespective of the business.
I usually see feminine enterprise homeowners looking for a feminine mentor, and that’s nice—there’s nothing mistaken with it! It may be good to speak to a different girl who might have been in related conditions to you. However, based mostly on my expertise, I encourage folks to be open to any mentor that’s a very good match, no matter gender or business.
With the Entrepreneurs’ Group, mentors and mentees can join simply via the digital Mentorship Platform. members present background info and are pre-screened to make sure they perceive the necessities and expectations of the connection. By the point mentors and mentees meet, they already know they’re assembly a reliable individual, so that they can begin digging in!
“Based mostly on my expertise, I encourage folks to be open to any mentor that’s a very good match, no matter gender or business.”
If I used to be vetting a mentor additional by myself, I’d need to know what their expectations and dedication are, and what they hope to realize from the connection.
The key to profitable mentorship
Belief. There needs to be full and whole belief in order that I really feel snug sharing my points—the deeper the difficulty, the extra I in all probability need assistance with it. And the mentor has to have belief in me, understanding that I gained’t reveal confidential info they share with me as properly.
As soon as there may be belief established, then you’ll be able to have actually open and trustworthy conversations and get the assistance or enter you’re looking for.
Should you aren’t connecting along with your mentor or mentee otherwise you don’t really feel that belief, then it’s in all probability not the best partnership.
Kristen Harris is the COO and co-creator of Portfolio Inventive, an award-winning recruiting and staffing agency, and a frontrunner within the business.