Mentoring Tip of the Month:
Provide validations. When people are talking about things that are important to them — such as their work life and careers — they want to be heard. In other words, they want the person who is listening to know how important the topic is to the speaker. As the listener, the way to show you “get this” is by providing validation.
Status Update: Mike Mooney, MLG Commercial and Abby Van Asten, M&I | BMO Bank
Abby: Michael Mooney and I are on the path for a very successful mentor/mentee relationship. After our initial introduction, Mike was very proactive in getting started and scheduled a dinner for us. The restaurant selection was a very relaxed atmosphere that allowed us to network for almost 3 hours without feeling rushed or as though we were inconveniencing anyone. Mike’s warm personality and sense of humor made me feel very comfortable sharing my background and goals for my career. He was able to give me insight into how he started his career and how it’s progressed over the years. Mike and I shared very candid conversation about how networking and professional organizations play into one’s career and has since spurred my interest into getting on a committee in NAIOP. The night concluded with Mike offering up some of his initial thoughts and a little constructive criticism for me to work on.
I left the dinner feeling very excited for where this mentor/mentee relationship will take us over the year and the benefits my career will pull from it.
Mike: My partner in the mentoring program, Abby Van Asten, and I got together a couple weeks ago for our getting acquainted dinner. Abby is a bright, articulate and charming commercial lending officer at M&I. I like people with a high level of curiosity; they are likely to be resourceful, able to figure things out. Abby fits that mold, asking interesting, insightful questions. Our three hours or so passed quickly, with conversation flowing easily back and forth between us. Abby shared interesting background information on her family, education and her work. The evening reminded me that even though her world of work here in 2012 is much different than mine at her age, the reality is that the fundamental common element is that people are still people, with aspirations, vulnerabilities, concerns, determinations, frailties and the like. It’s familiar territory for all of us.
A key part of the mentoring program is passing on the benefits of your experience. Fortunately for Abby, I have made lots of mistakes in my 45 years in the business, so I am able to pass on lots of “how not to lessons”.
I look forward to working with her this year and beyond.