OUR WONDERFUL SOFTWARE PARTNER DELIVERS INSIGHTS
If you’re a mentee, you’ll want to get together with your mentor to discuss how the adaptation to remote working – whether it be just-for-now or will be more long-term – affects the career map you created together. How does this affect your goals, if at all? Do you need to adapt them or change your timeline given the current climate? Will this mean you will have to pivot your overall strategy, or simply make adjustments in the short-term?
Your mentor can help walk you through these challenges and any other unexpected hiccups. It’s more likely than not that they too have had to pivot and change course at some point in their own careers.
As Harvard Business Review (HBR) notes, in ordinary circumstances, many mentors focus more on the career functions of mentoring, and while those remain important, psychosocial functions of mentorship are especially valuable in uncertain times. Psychosocial functions of mentoring include a focus on emotional support, affirmation, acceptance, reassurance and friendship; they “tap into empathy and compassion and involve deliberate expressions of care”.
In order to demonstrate emotional and social support, it’s important that both parties or team members begin by offering to listen generously. After all, it’s only when we listen that we are able to hear and really understand unique struggles and concerns.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT + VALIDATION
Once we’ve heard these struggles and concerns, it’s paramount that we next acknowledge the distress and validate the changes that may be required. Reciprocal sounding boards assist decisions to move forward.
Being vulnerable is one of the most important ways we can show up for each other. Authentically sharing experiences of (COVID) shutdown, of normal work processes and procedures, can help create an environment of mutual understanding. As HBR suggests, “Discuss how the break-in physical routines, the restricted access to others, and the bombardment of information can feel overwhelming and isolating.”
SUPPORT + AFFIRMATION
If you’re a mentor, ensure your mentee knows that you’re there to provide support. Be clear about which ways you can help and which ways you can’t, and affirm their need to take breaks from work routines, news consumption, etc. in order to engage in self-care.
Last but not least, humour can go far in tense situations. While you will be discussing heavy topics with your mentoring partners try to always end conversations on a light, happy note. After all, everyone has been and will be required to adjust!
HELPING OTHERS HELPS OURSELVES
The cherry-on-top of being there for your mentoring partner during this time is that, it’s scientifically proven that the people who cope best during a crisis are those who help others.
Having a sense of purpose, being generous, and giving support to others can have a significant impact on our well-being, including reduced anxiety. The “helper’s high” consists of positive emotions following selfless service to others, leading to greater health and increased longevity for the giver.
ULTIMATELY, PARTICIPATING IN 2 WAY OR TEAM MENTORING OR PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT RELATIONSHIPS DURING UNPRECEDENTED
OR CAREER CHALLENGING TIMES CAN LOWER ANXIETY ABOUT FUTURE PROSPECTS – AND, HELP’ PARTNERS’ SHARE HOPEFUL VISIONS OF NOT ONLY MAKING IT THROUGH TOUGH TIMES, BUT CONTINUING TO THRIVE IN THEIR CAREERS ONCE STORMS HAVE PASSED
Courtesy of Mentorloop 2020