Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

Be a Truth-Teller: Advice for Better Mentoring

Posted on: November 1st, 2015 by News presented by How to Mentor No Comments

As a small business owner, you forge strong bonds with your staff and serve as their teachers, whether you realize it or not. Foster better, more honest relationships with those team members with these great tips from our recent panel on small business mentoring.

  1. Be respectful. Maria Contreras-Sweet, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s current chief, says mentors should avoid ‘gotcha’ moments. Instead, see critiques as a chance to be someone’s champion and to offer help and guidance.
  2. Seek to understand, not judge. Poornima Vijayashanker suggests you lead with compassion and the desire to understand your staffer mentees to know what’s driving their decisions before rushing to judgment. Jenn Piepszak, a national sales executive at Chase, agrees. “Truth-telling is very effective when combined with empathy,” adding that understanding the context of the development opportunity is essential.
  3. Be good to them. Truth-telling depends on trust. Build trust with staff you’re mentoring by removing obstacles in their path and giving them the resources they need, suggests Contreras-Sweet.
  4. Ask “What can I do better?” Says Contreras-Sweet, this simple question won’t just make it easier to help your mentee. It will even the playing field and allow for an honest two-way conversation.
  5. Help them think big. The bigger picture isn’t always obvious, says Bridget Weston Pollack, vice president of marketing and communications of small business non-profit SCORE. Take the time to educate the mentees in your company so they understand how their role and problems fit into your business’s overall timeline.  

How to Reduce Your Training Expenses with Corporate Mentoring

Posted on: December 24th, 2014 by Mentoring Talent presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

While training classes are widely available for any learning need, they can also be very costly. The time spent away from the office and probable travel expenses, as well as the cost to take the class (or create the course internally), necessitates an immense commitment of both time and money from your organization.

In a poll taken during one of our recent webinars, 66% of attendees stated that they use a combination of mentoring and training in the workplace. This combination of methods is just one way in which you can free up your training budget while generating an even better developmental result.

While mentoring can supplement training, in some cases it can also be effectively substituted for training. If you’re finding that your training budget is too small to get the amount of development your organization’s employees truly need, don’t let your training budget limit the growth of your company. Improve your business performance by making sure you evaluate the needs of your organization and consider the beneficial impacts of mentoring, both in conjunction with and in place of formal training classes.

Supplementing Training with Mentoring

There are cases when it is extremely beneficial to supplement your training with mentoring, as mentoring provides a type of learning that is more specific to the needs and culture of the organization than traditional classroom training can ever be.

Follow these steps to be sure this is the right path for you:

  1. Determine if mentoring is appropriate to supplement the focus of the training course
  2. Confirm that qualified mentors are available
  3. Time the mentoring program and partnerships to begin as soon as possible after training ends to promote reinforcement
  4. Assess the mentee at the end of their training to set specific goals in their mentoring learning plan relative to where they are developmentally
  5. Assess the mentee again after the partnership to measure the learning that took place

 

If you have a limited training budget or if you just want to accelerate your learning curve, implementing a mentoring program can help with these problems and many other bumps you encounter. Mentoring is an efficient and cost effective use of your training budget that frees up crucial funding and hours, giving your company more flexibility to focus on its actual objectives of growth and development.

Substituting Mentoring for Training

Mentoring can also replace formal training programs in the right circumstances – but be sure to tie it to business objectives and formalize the process so that it gains respect within your organization.

Follow these steps to successfully implement mentoring within your business structure.

  1. Determine if mentoring is able to achieve desired learning goals and objectives
  2. Win hearts and minds of all stakeholders (including mentors, mentees, managers and leadership)
  3. Agree on structure, process and learning goals for the partnerships
  4. Confirm that qualified mentors are available
  5. Ensure that mentors and mentees are committed and understand their roles within the partnership
  6. Obtain manager support and understanding of their role in the mentoring partnership
  7. Asses learning at the end of the partnership

 

70-20-10 Model

Mentoring is not just more cost effective than training; it’s also more effective towards achieving your learning and development goals – and here’s how.

The 70-20-10 training model developed by Lombardo and Eichinger is the result of extensive research into the “why” of the success of high-performers. This learning and development model posits that learning happens in organizations in practice according to the following breakdown:

  1. 70% of organizational learning is due to challenging assignments integrated within the workflow – learning by doing.
  2. 20% of organizational learning is due to social relationships and feedback.
  3. 10% – and only 10% – of organizational learning is due to coursework and training classes

 

Take a look at the first two: formal mentoring covers 90% of employee needs through assignments integrated into the mentee’s workflow, and feedback given via social relationships.

Furthermore, mentoring provides this information in shorter and more effective segments, as well as in terms that are specific to the needs of the organization.

In Conclusion: How Can Mentoring Help You?

Mentoring improves your business performance by developing your internal talent, and providing cost effective solutions to help your employees grow and develop. Reduce your training expense and get more out of your budget by:

  • Evaluating what a structured mentoring program can achieve for your organization
  • Determining how your organization can roll out mentoring as an effective talent development initiative
  • Implementing a successful mentoring program based on a strong plan that’s tied to your organizational objectives.

When Mentorship Programs Fail Due to Poor Support

Posted on: December 17th, 2014 by Management Mentors presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

mentoring program support

I am frequently asked “What are the most common reasons mentorship programs fail?”

There are four main reasons mentorship programs fail:

  1. Design
  2. Matching
  3. Training
  4. Support

This is the fourth in a series of four blog posts.

In this post, we will focus on support as a common reason mentorship programs fail.

In the final post of our series, we are covering the issue of ongoing support of mentoring pairs. There are some organizations that create a mentoring program and match people—and that’s as far as they go. This limited amount of involvement is mentoring “lite” and likely to get poor results.

For a mentoring relationship to be successful, there has to be someone that the pairs can go to in order to resolve issues. This would be the Mentoring Program Manager (MPM), an internal person who has other duties within the organization—most often human resources, training and development or diversity.

"A good mentoring program needs a Mentoring Program Manager to make pairs accountable."

When setting up a professional mentoring program, the MPM specifies how often mentoring pairs should meet and what they should work on. The MPM is responsible for checking in with the pairs monthly/quarterly to verify whether or not they are meeting as well as checking in on the quality of their meetings.

This expected check-in motivates the pairs to accomplish their goals of the program. Supporting the pairs need not take a long time depending on the number of pairs a program has. In a traditional one-year mentoring program of twenty, the MPM may spend 3-5 hours a month monitoring pairs. Typically, 10-15% of pairs will need more support than the others.

In practice, the first three months is the most critical time period for the pairs to gel and to work effectively. If that has not happened within three months, that pair should be dissolved. If the pair has clicked, then they are not likely to need the MPM much throughout the rest of the program. The fact that the MPM is there and available allows them to be more comfortable within the program. In today’s mentoring profession, there are now companies that will actually manage programs for you, that will act as MPM externally. Whether you have an internal or external MPM, it is critical to have one.  

Why Mentor Matching Can’t Be The End of Your Involvement

Posted on: December 10th, 2014 by Mentoring Talent presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

Mentor matching certainly sets the stage for how well a mentoring partnership will go – but it’s not the end-all be-all of a mentoring partnership.

Whether because of personality clash, mismatched competencies, difficulty with communication, or a different reason entirely, some mentor-mentee matches simply don’t work out.

It’s often possible to save a mentoring partnership that’s on the rocks, but it’s not always obvious to a program administrator that a mentoring partnership is in trouble until it’s too late. Any time that the partnership can be saved, however, it always comes back to one thing: communication.

Don’t underestimate how necessary it is for you to check in with your mentors and mentees regularly, pay attention for warning signs, and report on the progress of individual partnerships as well as the overall mentoring program throughout its cycle.

How a Mentoring Partnership Falls Apart

1. Mismatch. The mentor matching process may go wrong for one of many reasons. But many times the higher mismatch rates occur either when a) the mentee is not clear about what they want to achieve in a mentoring partnership or b) program administrators are doing the matching on paper and by hand, especially with larger groups.

2. Personality Clash or Disrespect. Awkwardness and discomfort in new situations is completely normal, and may go away after a mentor and mentee have become more familiar with each other. Even so, a lack of “chemistry” or “sparks” can be manageable. For example, you may not have liked all of your teachers on a personal level, but chances are you still learned from them.

The most important thing to remember is that the number one criteria for matching mentors and mentees must be development. If that lack of interpersonal chemistry keeps the development from taking place, the mentoring partnership will never succeed.

One red flag you must watch out for, however, is a lack of respect. Even one-sided disrespect can’t form the basis of a partnership, or foster development.

3. Passivity and Passive Aggression. Sometimes people with differences of opinion can many times enjoy discussion that shares ideas and worldviews. Sometimes they can’t. In a mentoring partnership, if discussions during learning sessions fall into the latter category, you might see passive aggression and/or a complete halt of activities.

Even if mentors or mentees don’t come to you for help resolving a situation like this, it’s crucial that you watch out for the warning signs so that you can step in as soon as possible. Likewise, if they do come to you, don’t brush off their concerns. You expect them to invest in their partnership – and they expect you to invest in them.

4. Partnership Failure. If you aren’t alert, the mentoring partnership can fail without you noticing. Activity will simply stop. The mentoring pair won’t meet. They won’t set goals. They’ll give up on each other and the program as a whole.

Depending on how closely the two partners work with each other in the organization and how far their discontent has spread, this can have negative consequences for not only their productivity and efficiency, the productivity and efficiency of those around them, and your organizational culture, but also for the longevity of your mentoring program due to bad word of mouth.

How a Mentoring Partnership Takes Off

1. Optimal Match. Great matches can be made with or without mentor matching software (though especially for larger pools of potential participants, matching software can drastically simplify the process and cut down on potential errors). For optimal matches, just make sure that the criteria and the process is as simple as possible.

Complicating the process with several different matching criteria doesn’t result in better matches: it just makes more work and frustration for you, and increases the possibility of mismatch. So whether you want to match participants manually, or allow them to browse each other’s profiles and match themselves, just remember to keep things simple.

2. Respect as the Basis of the Partnership. Great partnerships grow out of mutual respect. Even if there are troubles in a mentoring partnership, if both mentor and mentee still respect each other, most things can be fixed or compromised on.

3. Growing and Learning Together. The great thing about mentoring is that mentor and mentee can learn from each other – just in different ways. While the partnership should be driven by the mentee and their learning needs, being exposed to a new perspective in the organization can cause the mentor to learn as well.

4. Separation/Redefinition. Separation and redefinition of the mentoring partnership occurs when the formal mentoring program sponsored by the organization comes to an end – but that doesn’t mean that the mentoring partnership has to come to an end as well. The mentor and mentee may decide to continue the partnership on their own time, contributing to a mentoring culture at your organization. But even if the mentor and mentee both decide not to stay on as mentor/mentee informally, a successful mentoring partnership ends on good, mutually beneficial terms for everyone involved.

The program administrator can make or break a mentoring program, so don’t underestimate your importance. 

Mentoring Myth: Buddy systems and mentoring programs are the same thing.

Posted on: December 3rd, 2014 by Management Mentors presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

There are some mentoring myths we encounter day in and day out as we guide our clients on their mentoring journey. This is the second in a series of posts on mentoring myths. Watch as we bust these myths wide open!

Mentoring Myth: Buddy systems and mentoring programs are the same thing.

BUSTED: Organizations typically use buddy systems to help new employees adjust to their jobs during the first few months of employment. Buddies are most often peers in the same department. They assist new employees for short periods. Buddies don’t require any specialized training.

Mentoring is a more complex relationship and focuses on both short- and long-term professional development goals. Though a mentor may be an employee’s peer, most often a mentor is a person who is at least one level higher in the organization and who is not within the mentoree’s direct supervisory line of management.

We recommend training for mentors, mentorees, and mentoring program managers.

If you want to get this myth plus five more in one handy package that you can easily access and share with others, then download our complete white paper: 6 Mentoring Myths Busted.



corporate mentoring myths

The Model for Mentoring Program Success

Posted on: November 26th, 2014 by Mentoring Talent presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

You may be considering implementing a mentoring program in your organization or re-vamping an old one that didn’t work out as well as you had hoped. In any case, be sure you realize that a successful mentoring program is not something that can just be thrown together.

It takes time and energy to institute a successful mentoring program. Make sure you spend that energy in the right places from the very beginning – or else risk a less than successful program and your own wasted effort.

Don’t set yourself up for failure before you even begin. Follow the PIE-M step-by-step approach towards mentoring to ensure the success of your program.

Plan

Kick off your mentoring program right by planning it out beforehand. Just as with any other project, you need to conceptualize mentoring within your organization before you even carry out any of its physical procedures.

  • Establish mentoring as an organizational business strategy
  • Tie mentoring to specific organizational objectives
  • Assess possible challenges so you’re ready
  • Identify measurements and expected outcomes, both from a qualitative and a quantitative basis

 

In the planning step of PIE-M, you are bringing your program under a microscope to evaluate the entirety of the project before you begin, enabling you to know before you go.

Implement

Now that you have established mentoring within your organization, it is time to start putting all of that planning into action.

  • Ensure there are specific role profiles for your mentors, mentees, managers and administrators alike to ensure expectations are understood and accepted
  • Provide mentoring training to be sure your mentors, mentees, managers and program administrators are able to fulfill their roles. (For more on the importance of mentoring training, read our article “The Perils of Skipping Mentoring Training.”)

 

Evaluate

Once you set up your program, now is not the time to leave it to function on its own.

Caution: This is where most mentoring programs fall apart.

Follow the third step in the PIE-M model and evaluate the progress of your program throughout its cycle.

  1. Track the progress of the mentoring partnerships
  2. Gather feedback from the participants
  3. Assess the effectiveness of the program and where the problem areas are as well as the areas where you’re doing things right
  4. Accomplish steps #1 – #3 on a regular basis. Schedule these checkpoints throughout the life of the program to ensure they happen

 

Manage

Once you take the step of evaluating the progress of your program, follow through by managing the necessary changes. Mentoring technology enables you to take the management of your program to a new level. Such software helps you gather quantitative data, calculate your ROI, and see where essential changes need to be made.

Don’t worry if you discover that some areas need some help, as that is what this step is for. Proper management of your program is the best way to avoid failure because it allows you to step in and change things before they go too far downhill.

Envision PIE-M as a cycle, not just a straight through process. Each step is linked to the next in a cohesive way that facilitates the natural process of mentoring.

PIE-M Chart

What is modern mentoring?

Posted on: November 19th, 2014 by Management Mentors presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

Modern mentoring goes beyond the traditional one-to-one mentoring model that pairs a senior member of the organization with a junior member. Instead, modern mentoring encompasses a wide variety of models and philosophies, such as reverse mentoring, speed mentoring, and situational mentoring (just to name a few).

Technology often plays a role in modern mentoring. For example, a mentor and mentoree might meet via Skype. The rules are often more casual as well. In a traditional one-to-one model, mentors and mentorees meet weekly or bi-weekly, in person, for nine to 12 months. In modern mentoring models, the mentoring is often completed more quickly, sometimes even within a couple of hours.

Mentoring for Knowledge Transfer: Bridging Today and Tomorrow

Posted on: November 12th, 2014 by Mentoring Talent presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

The preservation of institutional knowledge has always been an essential part of any organization’s agenda. You spend too much time developing knowledge and skills to simply let it go every time someone relocates or retires.

Today’s workplace is going through some drastic changes that make the subject of knowledge transfer more important than ever. As a result, many companies are turning to mentoring programs in order to capture and preserve the knowledge of experienced employees.

Take a look at the two key problems that the modern workplace is facing, and learn about how you can prepare your organization for successful transitions during this shift in the dynamics of the workplace.

Reason #1: Mass Exit of Baby Boomers

We always knew that the retirement of the Baby Boom generation was going to cause a drastic change in workplace dynamics as well as pose a threat to our already unsteady economy. Those worries and predictions are no longer looming in the horizon; they are here.

At the start of the new year in 2011, the oldest members of the Baby Boom generation celebrated their 65th birthday. And on that day, today, and every day for the next 19 years, 10,000 Baby Boomers will reach age 65.

This immense increase in retirement-eligible employees causes organizations to take a step back and look at what they can do to maintain their knowledge base. This problem is not going to just vanish in the next few years. If your organization has not addressed the need for knowledge development strategies yet, now is the time to do so.

Gallup conducted their annual Economy and Personal Finance survey this past April, showing that the average age at which U.S. retirees report retiring is 62.

However, 39% of Baby Boomers that are still working say they don’t expect to retire until they are over the average “expected” age of 66:

 photo Graph1_zps38286c90.jpg

Even with this desire to stay in the workforce longer, our population is still aging drastically at a rate that will push each wave of boomers past that “expected” age of 66 each year.

 

The following graph represents the steady increase of 65 Americans as a share of our population over the course of the next several decades: (Source)

 photo Graph2_zpsdc7d8bcf.jpg

Every month more than a quarter-million Americans turn 65. What are you going to do to prepare your company for such transitions?

Reason #2: New Job Market Mentality

Not only have we reached the “age of retirement” in the job market, but we have also begun to see a transition in the mentality of the job market itself.

According to recent statistics, the median number of years a U.S. worker has been in his or her current job is just 4.4 years, down sharply since the 1970s.

The expected tenure of the workforce’s youngest employees is almost half of that. Ninety-one percent of millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years, according to the Future Workplace survey of 1,189 employees and 150 managers.

Employees are increasingly staying with organizations for shorter periods of time, and taking career development opportunities when and where they become available. Oftentimes this happens to be with an organization they don’t work for – and since the start of the global recovery from the 2008 recession, people have been able to afford to move around and pursue those opportunities.

How Mentoring for Knowledge Transfer Can Help You

Job transition, due to retirement or new job market mentality, is something your organization should be comfortable dealing with. If you’re not, now is the time to become familiar with the new face of the workplace.

A successful mentoring program provides your organization with an efficient method by which you can capture and retain the knowledge of experienced employees that you will eventually lose to retirement.

So how are you going to make sure all that critical information isn’t lost?

Mentoring allows for knowledge transfer between both the mentor and the mentee – but is especially geared to transfer from mentor to mentee. Mentoring for knowledge transfer has multiple benefits, including:

  • Engagement of employees by letting mentors know they are valued by the organization and providing mentees with the knowledge to progress and succeed
  • Organizational preparation to handle the “passing of the baton” between the retiring generation and the generations currently a part of the workforce and just now entering the workforce.
  • Creation a culture of continuous career development and knowledge transfer in your organization
  • Retention of employees who will be looking for career development opportunities – and who aren’t afraid to leave your organization to do so.
  • Amelioration of multigenerational conflict that may exist within your organization.

 

Just like Baby Boomer retirement isn’t a one-and-done event, neither should your knowledge-transfer efforts be. This will be an event that occurs over the next several years. And if knowledge transfer is a gradual and seamless effort, tomorrow’s leaders, managers, and employees will be gradually and seamlessly ready to fill those vacancies left by retirees – and they’ll not only be able to do it with the benefit of having that institutional knowledge and understanding, they’ll be able to build off of that knowledge and understanding in new and different ways.

It only takes a little bit of preparation – so make sure that you’re not left holding the baton (or the bag) at the end of it.

What is hybrid mentoring?

Posted on: November 5th, 2014 by Management Mentors presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

There is a new terminology arising in mentoring recently: hybrid mentoring. At Management Mentors, we call it Anytime Mentoring. In some cases hybrid mentoring is a result of trying to respond to millennials who are seeking quick and easy access via a mentoring software system to be able to get the mentoring they need when they need it.

Hybrid mentoring puts millennials in the driver’s seat in terms of managing their career development. 

A hybrid mentoring system will not only have the ability to find and match with a mentor, but will also have social networking components such as the ability to create groups, create projects with other colleagues, create resources, etc. (See screen show below of Management Mentors' Anytime Mentoring system.)

Although this new twist on mentoring is certainly a creative approach to introducing mentoring to this generation, it does not mean that traditional mentoring or group mentoring are no longer valid. All forms of mentoring have their place and ability to accomplish specific goals and objectives. The fact that we are adapting the experience of mentoring to a millennial audience speaks to the ongoing value of mentoring within today’s and tomorrow’s work force. 

Mentors, or Just Nurturers? How Women Are Hurting Themselves and Not Realizing It

Posted on: October 29th, 2014 by Mentoring Talent presented by How To Mentor Toolkit No Comments

Mentors, or Just Nurturers?

I once observed a situation in which an individual (we’ll call him “Bob”) asked two of his colleagues for advice on how to solve a problem in a project he was working on. One was male (“George”), and one was female (“Liz”). Bob went to Liz for advice first, and she suggested a solution to Bob. About four days later, Bob presented the same problem to George, who suggested the same solution that Liz had proposed four days earlier.

Shortly thereafter, Bob was asked by his superiors how he was going to solve the problem. When he presented the solution that both Liz and George had suggested to him, he immediately credited George – and only George.

Why did this happen? And why didn’t Liz take credit for the advice that she had, after all, been the first to offer Bob four days before George even entered the picture?

There are two issues at play here:

  1. Women tend to be perceived as “nurturers” and “givers” instead of “leaders” and “askers” by others – including other women.
  2. Women themselves tend against talking about their own accomplishments and goals – despite their desire to be recognized for them.

Bob perceived Liz’s advice as something that was natural for her to give, for which he didn’t owe her any recognition, because she never asked for it. Worse yet, he may have unconsciously disregarded her solution in the four days before he approached George with the same problem, and not even realized that Liz and George had both presented him the same solution.

But why give George’s presentation of the solution so much more weight?

When you look at any given organization, you will most likely find that there are more men than women in the role of mentor. This is odd, considering that women are perceived as “givers” and “nurturers”, when mentoring is all about giving and nurturing.

But consider this too: I’ve also observed that when a either a man or a women has the opportunity to choose a mentor, they will more often than not choose a man within the organization.

Is this because they only perceives the male candidates as being influential and leaders in the organization? Is it because the importance of networking and finding a mentor is taught more often to men than to women, and at a much earlier age?

Or, is it because they haven’t heard about the successes of other women in their organization, and therefore there is a perception that the pool of female mentors is very, very small?

It’s probably a combination of all three, but we can no longer afford to overlook the fact that women are hurting not just themselves, but also other women, by not talking about themselves.

Women Must Be Mentored, Too

But all this doesn’t even begin to touch on another fact: that women often feel uncomfortable searching out their own mentor, male or female, because they’re fighting against their personas as “nurturers” and “givers”, along with their unwillingness to talk up their own accomplishments and goals.

When talking with individuals who have a list of impressive and significant accomplishments many people – but particularly women – are many times very reluctant to talk about them, even admit them and certainly not willing to put them down on paper. Women are taught at an early age not to brag, as it makes us appear brash, arrogant, and egotistical: three qualities that are perceived as extremely unattractive in women.

But ultimately, where do we draw the line between bragging and representing ourselves? While the line might currently be blurred and unclear, we must let those around us know who we are, what we stand for, what we have accomplished, and what we want to accomplish going forward.

If we are to not only make it more acceptable for women to be a bit more “selfish” in making sure that they receive the recognition they deserve, but also ensure that women are considered on equal footing with their male colleagues by men and women alike, it’s important that women also feel that they’re able to ask for mentoring and advice for themselves.

And much of this comes from within. Consider how you currently represent yourself, your abilities, your accomplishments, and your goals to the people around you in your everyday life. Below, you can find a few quick tips to get you thinking.

Don’t Be Afraid to Own Your Abilities, Accomplishments, and Goals

1. Know Exactly How What You Do Helps Others

Be able to express this in a very short, memorable, and impactful sentence, so that when people have a particular issue that you’re able to solve, they immediately think of you.

2. Make It Impossible for Anyone to Say No to You

If you have managed to do all the hard work and gained someone’s attention, make sure that you provide them with enough information that they feel they cannot leave the interaction without wanting more. This might take the form of another meeting, a request to follow up, or to see a portfolio.

3. Love What You Do and What It Does for Others

If you are not passionate about what it is you do, it’s negatively impacting everything in your life. Find something that connects with your values and delivers a difference. This is perfectly possible in a corporate environment.

4. Walk Your Talk

We should always be walking our talk. If you are in finance, be sure your personal money is in order. If you are in IT, don't have an overflowing inbox. If you are in marketing, make sure you have a portfolio that reflects your work.

5. Leverage Your Talents

What is your unique ability? How can you weave it more consistently in to your everyday actions? Become known for something that proves to be invaluable, and that will make you indispensable.

6. Help People Who Don’t Know What They Need Right Now

Everyone is overwhelmed today – too much email, too many choices, too many requests on their time, not enough resources. Be sure that people know what you do and have seen you demonstrate it. When they do know what they want, the decision will already be made.

7. Be Emotional and Connect to People

If you only can explain your talents in very rational terms, your audience is much less likely to engage with your message. Don’t be afraid to be emotive when describing challenges you’ve faced, and how it felt after you were able to help the situation by leveraging your talents. This will help people feel connected to you on a deeper level, so that they’re more likely to keep you in mind.

8. Don’t Take What You Do For Granted

All too often when we’re using our unique talents, we take a lot of what we are able to do for granted. After all, it just comes so naturally that it is not a strain, isn't that the same for everyone? Answer: no. So make sure that those individuals who do utilize your talents are fully aware of all that you bring.

9. Have an Answer for the Doubting Thomases

On occasion people will suddenly find a reason to be negative, sarcastic or doubtful of what it is you claim. Be ready with an effective response.

10. Build Your Brand Everywhere You Go

Ensure that all you are doing, saying, and communicating is a reflection of how you want to be known, and that information is what you want others to know. By the time they actually reach you then you have got them at Hello!

This article originally appeared in the Sept/Oct edition of Profiles in Diversity Journal, and is by mentoring training expert Judy Corner.