The Secret To Becoming 6x More Likely to Be Promoted
Professionals with mentors get promoted five times more than those without mentors.
And for those who mentor to other people, the rate goes up to six times.*
Business owners with mentors report an increase in their personal earnings of at least 14%
But a good mentor is hard to find.
Perhaps the thought of hiring a coach-mentor, joining a Mastermind group, or asking someone at work to be your mentor feels intimidating or even a waste of time. You probably have legitimate concerns. It may be challenging to find the right fit for your budget, goals, or your values.
But with so many benefits it’s worth the leap.
These hacks will make it worthwhile.
1. Focus on Adding Value Not Your Discomfort
The key to a dynamic discussion is this: you get what you give.
What deepens a conversation–what makes it powerful–is often when participants not only listen or observe, but self-disclose.
Come prepared to show up and contribute. Without preparation or substantive contributions, you may find the experience of mentoring to be shallow or unfulfilling.
Chan explains, “After 8 years of facilitating massive online social media discussions, it never fails to amaze me how diverse people’s opinions can be and how much you can learn from these differing perspectives.”
“Don’t let contributing intimidate you. Adding value doesn’t mean you have to be an expert or that the process needs to be contrived, it can be spontaneous and organic, starting from almost anywhere–a book or tweet.”
“Talking about your experiences in relation to a topic is a great way of creating relevant connections. Each of our perspectives is unique and has inherent value.”
2. Know Your Why
Know why you’re coming to 1:1 mentoring or group coaching and masterminding.
Your answer to, “Why” you want a mentor, and to mentor others is what will create meaning as you make the leap to the next level in your career or business.
In addition to wanting to get promoted, the leaders in my co-mentoring groups focus on growing self respect and trusting their intuition (the antidote to burnout and lack of confidence).
Knowing what you want from the group and why it matters is a good place to start developing your superpowers and meaningful boundaries.
3. Focus on Commitment
When you are truly committed to go through the process of mentoring, you will absorb the shared information more easily and contribute to the collective intelligence we create together. Those who are involved in conversations, and in sharing value and understanding, are the ones who become celebrated experts.
4. Members Matter
A program or group for mentoring is only as good as its people—choose your partners carefully. It must be a win-win experience. Anyone in your group should not only be able to provide you with insightful feedback and advice but should also be able to benefit from your feedback.
5. Set a SMART Goal to Share at Every Meeting
Don’t rely on someone else to create your experience.
Before each meeting, I prepare a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Results-oriented, Timely). Then I ask my mentor-coach to hold me accountable for achieving it.
“Find a new job,” is not a SMART goal. This one is: “Have a conversation with 5 senior leaders in Miami tech companies, each week.”
Likewise, make your requests and questions specific.
“Can you help me find a job as a CFO?” is not as powerful as, “Who do you know in a biotech company that I can talk with about their financial leadership team?”
6. Commit to Confidentiality
Good mentoring is built on trust, creating a safe space to be vulnerable. Make sure your mentoring program has clear boundaries around confidentiality and nondisclosure.
It’s important to be able to speak freely and not worry about someone stealing your idea or lead. Confidentiality is important and should be respected by each one of the members. The better programs, like Dana’s, put it in writing.
7. Go For Equal Air Time: Avoid Gurus and Celebrities
Look for a mastermind group or a coach that gives time for everyone to speak at each meeting.
Find out how the mentoring or group coaching is led and by whom. Avoid celebrity coaches who turn things over to junior staff or contractors.
Skilled facilitation is required to keep egos and interruptions under control. And it can take strong guidance to turn discussion into an action plan.
Ask what the format will be and how much time is given to brainstorming and problem solving. You don’t just want to get lectured. Lectures and presentations are actually masterclasses.
8. Be a Bridge in the Divide
As a white woman or a woman of color, you know how to move in different worlds.
You understand the challenges, you’ve lived the wage gap, and you know how to gain a foothold as the only woman in the room. Bridging the divide requires a great deal of this boundary spanning.
Ethnic minorities and women tend to travel across epistemic communities as well as communities of practice and professional associations and in doing so they learn new things that are traditionally not a part of their work settings.
It has been well documented that these kinds of activities lead to the creation of key innovation processes. By creating new networks of knowledge across disciplines as well as demographic groups–these practices are critical contributions to innovation capabilities.
With these intentional efforts, you can move people from different worlds together. The planet needs these types of multicultural and multiracial learning partnerships and professional allies now more than ever. Be a bridge.
Anna Duran, Avatar Research Institute, @ThinkAvatarRI
9. Listen to Your Inner Voice
Do you trust your gut?
Improving your intuition in the safe space of coaching is an excellent way to expand your abilities and decision making which primes you for promotion.
“Power is the ability to connect to things that make you feel alive. If you’re not listening to your inner guidance, you may be allowing fear to steer you. When you’re driven by fear, you’re unlikely to discover the power and purpose you want in your career.”
10. Follow an Agreed Upon Format
A set structure for sharing works best for running a powerful class or session. Here is the one that I follow for my groups:
Each person will share the following:
- My Wins from the last (week/month) are – up to 3 (1 minute each)
- My Intentions for the upcoming week/month) are – list up to 3 (2 minutes each)
- Where I need support is _____________ (1 minute each)
- This is followed by general discussion – issues, ideas, challenges.