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Thu 16 April 2020
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During this video, we introduce the Ambition In Motion mentor program and then interview Yvonne Heath to discuss how college students and professionals can prepare for their first internship, as well as discuss Yvonne's professional experiences and mentor relationships. The host of this video is Ambition In Motion's founder, Garrett Mintz.

What is the purpose of an internship?
What is the purpose of a first job out of college?
How can somebody properly set their expectations so then they can anticipate what is to come from an internship or job? E.g. how can somebody minimize negative surprises from work?
How do you prepare for potentially stressful situations at work?
Does your work or your professional interests ever pull you in different directions? How do you stay on task and focused?
Who should I really make an effort to impress in the job?
Is it worth my time or effort to take on additional responsibilities even though they aren’t required of me?
Does it make sense for me to meet people outside of my cohort while in an internship or in my first job?
Do you have any stories of times in which somebody you met (can be in the workplace or outside of it), where you weren’t expecting anything, turned out to have amazing insight for you and/or really helped you out?
Is it important that you treat everyone you meet, especially in the workplace, with respect and kindness? E.g. have you ever known a situation where somebody who was lower than you, or somebody you knew, on the totem pole at one company, ended up rising up the ladder at another company really quickly and then you, or the person you knew, ended up working for them?
Is it important that your supervisor sees you being productive? If so, why is that important?
Wed 15 April 2020
People are an organization's greatest asset. Organizations strive to obtain top-performers and maintain quality performance. Organization mentorship is a critical aspect of recruiting top-performances and maintaining quality performance. A mentor can help an employee ascend great heights in their career and can be a conduit in networking channels. Networking is imperative for access to business opportunities. The best way to ensure you are in the best position in your career and gain opportunities for the future is to have a mentor.

I have several mentors, professionally and personally. Throughout the years, they have assisted me in navigating organizational obstacles, served as advisors for hard decisions, served as a sounding board for venting, and given me access to opportunities. A good mentor empowers mentees to make the best out of their situation, whether it is deciding to apply to another job or finding the best way to approach a workplace situation. The mentorship I have received over the years has been invaluable to me and I don't think I would be where I am today without my mentors' investment in my professional life.

Finding Your Place
Finding your place in a new organization or even an old workplace can be difficult. A mentor can assist you in navigating your way through organizational culture, office politics, and self-evaluation. Organizational culture plays a huge role in the way employees are viewed and valued. Mentors can help employees realize characteristics that are needed to adapt to the organizational culture. Mentors can also assist with self-reflection. Self-reflection can help employees self-regulate and understand other's behavior as well. Employee understanding of behavior can assist in finding their place within the organization. 

I have been in the Army for 17 years and I think I have been pretty successful in finding my place. The Army has a very distinct culture. I relied on my mentors to provide me feedback on how to fit in and adapt to the environment. If I didn't have mentors to lead me along the way, I probably would not have gotten far in my career.

Excelling to Great Heights
Most people want to be successful in the workplace. Excelling to great heights in your career is not only satisfying but helps the organization overall performance. Mentors can be the stairway to achieving great heights. Good mentors have value in their experience and past decisions. Mentees can glean from the guidance mentors provide and use that information to excel professionally and personally. 

I have achieved some great feats. I transitioned from being an enlisted soldier to a commissioned officer (warrant officer). I have completed a myriad of military training and I am currently pursuing my doctorate in business administration. These accomplishments would not have been possible without the input and guidance of my mentors. The valuable insight and experience are what have allowed me to make sound decisions and work through obstacles. 

Network Circles 
Networking is one of the most important things that a professional can do. People rely on relationships to excel in professional and personal aspects. Networking provides employees opportunities to excel in ways that they wouldn't otherwise have a chance to. Mentors can be conduits in different networking circles to facilitate those opportunities. The more networking circles an individual has the better for the chances for the opportunities. 

My mentors have introduced me to a variety of networking circles. These networking circles are not just important now, but for future use as well. As I progress and transition to another career, they serve as stepping stones. Nourishing the network circles is as important as having access to them. If you are fortunate to have access to network circles, make sure you foster the relationships.

Workplace Blueprint Template
Lastly, mentorship provides mentees with workplace blueprint. The workplace blueprint is the type of information that will allow you to understand how your organization works and possibly other organizations. If you change workplaces, the feedback you have received should translate to your new organization. This information can allow you to excel anywhere. Possessing the workplace blueprint will also make you a great mentor for someone else that make need guidance and mentorship. 

I pay it forward by making myself accessible to others for mentorship. I have people that have selected me to be their mentor and people that I have reached out to ask to become their mentor. I have decided to make sure that I pass along the knowledge and feedback that I have received over the years. Hopefully, by now, I have convinced you to seek out a professional mentor and how important it is to have a professional mentor. I have highlighted the importance that mentorship serves in the workplace and in personal growth. Capitalizing on opportunities for mentorship can pay dividends in your future. It did in mine. 
Wed 15 April 2020
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During this video, we introduce the Ambition In Motion mentor program and then interview Hallie Crawford to discuss how professionals can handle conflict at work, as well as discuss Ashley's professional experiences and mentor relationships. The host of this video is Ambition In Motion's founder, Garrett Mintz.

Did you or have you ever struggled with communicating about conflict?
Have you ever worked with someone that you didn’t see eye to eye with?
Is it possible to continue working with those people?
Who do you talk to about the conflict to sort your thoughts out?
What are some of the most common conflicts in the workplace?
What is a leadership conflict? E.g. when there are multiple bosses who hold the same rank diving differing instructions. How do you handle that?
How do you handle a situation in which you are relying on somebody else’s work to get your tasks complete? Can you set expectations early? If so, how do you properly do that? What if you drop the ball on the expectations you set for the other person?
If somebody has a different work style as you, how do you handle ensuring there is productivity, even if you both go about accomplishing the same task in different ways? 
How would you suggest people handle cultural-based differences in the workplace? E.g. people with different backgrounds, cultures, or social norms as you, how do you handle that? Especially for international business.
How do you handle personality clashes? How would you suggest people handle that?
Tue 14 April 2020
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During this video, we introduce the Ambition In Motion mentor program and then interview JT McCormick to discuss how college students and professionals can prepare for their first internship, as well as discuss JT's professional experiences and mentor relationships. The host of this video is Ambition In Motion's founder, Garrett Mintz.

What is the purpose of an internship?
What is the purpose of a first job out of college?
How can somebody properly set their expectations so then they can anticipate what is to come from an internship or job? E.g. how can somebody minimize negative surprises from work?
How do you prepare for potentially stressful situations at work?
Does your work or your professional interests ever pull you in different directions? How do you stay on task and focused?
Who should I really make an effort to impress in the job?
Is it worth my time or effort to take on additional responsibilities even though they aren’t required of me?
Does it make sense for me to meet people outside of my cohort while in an internship or in my first job?
Do you have any stories of times in which somebody you met (can be in the workplace or outside of it), where you weren’t expecting anything, turned out to have amazing insight for you and/or really helped you out?
Is it important that you treat everyone you meet, especially in the workplace, with respect and kindness? E.g. have you ever known a situation where somebody who was lower than you, or somebody you knew, on the totem pole at one company, ended up rising up the ladder at another company really quickly and then you, or the person you knew, ended up working for them?
Is it important that your supervisor sees you being productive? If so, why is that important?
Mon 13 April 2020
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During this video, we introduce the Ambition In Motion mentor program and then interview Ashley Fontaine to discuss how college students and professionals can prepare for their first internship, as well as discuss Ashley's professional experiences and mentor relationships. The host of this video is Ambition In Motion's founder, Garrett Mintz.

What is the purpose of an internship?
What is the purpose of a first job out of college?
How can somebody properly set their expectations so then they can anticipate what is to come from an internship or job? E.g. how can somebody minimize negative surprises from work?
How do you prepare for potentially stressful situations at work?
Does your work or your professional interests ever pull you in different directions? How do you stay on task and focused?
Who should I really make an effort to impress in the job?
Is it worth my time or effort to take on additional responsibilities even though they aren’t required of me?
Does it make sense for me to meet people outside of my cohort while in an internship or in my first job?
Do you have any stories of times in which somebody you met (can be in the workplace or outside of it), where you weren’t expecting anything, turned out to have amazing insight for you and/or really helped you out?
Is it important that you treat everyone you meet, especially in the workplace, with respect and kindness? E.g. have you ever known a situation where somebody who was lower than you, or somebody you knew, on the totem pole at one company, ended up rising up the ladder at another company really quickly and then you, or the person you knew, ended up working for them?
Is it important that your supervisor sees you being productive? If so, why is that important?
Sun 12 April 2020
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During this video, we introduce the Ambition In Motion mentor program and then interview Adam Posner to discuss how college students and professionals can prepare for their first internship, as well as discuss Adam's professional experiences and mentor relationships. The host of this video is Ambition In Motion's founder, Garrett Mintz.

What is the purpose of an internship?
What is the purpose of a first job out of college?
How can somebody properly set their expectations so then they can anticipate what is to come from an internship or job? E.g. how can somebody minimize negative surprises from work?
How do you prepare for potentially stressful situations at work?
Does your work or your professional interests ever pull you in different directions? How do you stay on task and focused?
Who should I really make an effort to impress in the job?
Is it worth my time or effort to take on additional responsibilities even though they aren’t required of me?
Does it make sense for me to meet people outside of my cohort while in an internship or in my first job?
Do you have any stories of times in which somebody you met (can be in the workplace or outside of it), where you weren’t expecting anything, turned out to have amazing insight for you and/or really helped you out?
Is it important that you treat everyone you meet, especially in the workplace, with respect and kindness? E.g. have you ever known a situation where somebody who was lower than you, or somebody you knew, on the totem pole at one company, ended up rising up the ladder at another company really quickly and then you, or the person you knew, ended up working for them?
Is it important that your supervisor sees you being productive? If so, why is that important?
Wed 8 April 2020
Seeking a mentor in your job, whether it is your first job out of college or the last stop on your career path, choosing the right person can be critical to enjoying a successful time with that company, but also achieving your personal and professional goals. A mentor can be someone who you work directly for, someone you work alongside or even someone who has little bearing on your path but is someone you view with a level of respect for their thoughts and views. A mentor does not have to write your reviews and control your future with the company but should be someone who helps you take control of your own future.

When searching for a mentor, many people look for someone who can and will be able to directly lead them to a higher salary, a desired job title, or the opportunity to lead a project or team. But these are not the things that truly drive a mentor-mentee relationship. Look for someone who will challenge your ideas, always ask to you produce effective solutions to problems and will not let you do anything less than your best. The right mentor will also help you recognize areas you can improve in way that allows you to learn from mistakes or less than ideal turnouts without making you feel as if you failed. A true mentor bases the success of the relationship on you hitting your end goals, goals you have chose for yourself, not ones they have set for you. Don’t grab onto the first person in your new job when you start and ask them to be your mentor; instead, probe around the people near you to find someone that is going to be your biggest advocate for your success.

Last, do not be afraid to move on from a mentor as you transition through your career because each will have their own expiration date as you grow. They do not have to leave your life entirely but may just fold to the background. Eventually you will become the mentor for someone else further down your career path and remember these lessons as crucial to success because they will be the same drivers that guide that relationship, just in reverse.

Mentorship can be one of the most rewarding experiences in a career path, both as a mentor and a mentee, and choosing correctly is a hard, but worthwhile decision to make.
Mon 6 April 2020
As remote work grows in popularity, the need for keeping individuals in-tune and engaged in the company culture increases substantially.

Remote work removes many of the inconveniences associated with going into work like commutes and distractions, but it takes away a key component to what makes company culture…connection!

This article serves to show a key way companies can go about maintaining and even improving the level of connectivity between employees as their work location becomes remote.

Before jumping into suggestions on maintaining and growing connectivity of employees as their work location becomes remote, let’s observe how employees connect in an office environment.

In our research on facilitating horizontal mentoring relationships for employees, we have learned that 68% of engaged employees that don’t work remotely believe that there are communication barriers between them and other employees. This is a critical statistic because this shows that even engaged employees feel that they are silo’d off from other employees, even if they work in the same office. 

Reframing this point, most people don’t know what their counterparts in other departments do for their work and the conversations they do have are typically superficial (e.g. sports, weather, fashion, family).

As more people begin to work remotely, this is going to get worse because employees are going to lose the little interaction they do have with each other. All communication is going to be work related and the emotional identity employees have of being a member of the company will soon fade.

Just to be clear, the emotional identity employees have of being a member of the company is the company’s culture! Once that is gone, there is no more culture!

One key to keeping remote employees engaged in the culture of the company is to set aside time for employees to have intentional conversations with each other.

These conversations are not superficial while also not completely about work. These conversations are free from the workplace hierarchy (e.g. title has nothing to do with what is and isn’t shared in these conversations). These conversations provide a platform for employees to share what they are working on with another employee, learn obstacles the other person is facing, ask clarifying questions that they don’t normally ask or get asked, and identify ways to find breakthroughs at work – emotionally, operationally, mentally, or physically.

These relationships create empathy between employees. These relationships breakthrough communication barriers between employees. These relationships build a greater sense of identity employees have with the company. 

This is called horizontal mentorship.

Optimal horizontal mentorship means:

·        Pairing employees together based on shared Work Orientation – or their shared workplace value system.
·        Providing meeting agendas to drive the conversations towards building rapport and being vulnerable.
·        Collecting feedback and learning what tangible outcomes were created every few months from meeting.
·        Switching mentor pairings every 6-12 months to continually build a web of connection between employees.
·        Everyone participating is willing to be open-minded enough to learn from somebody else regardless of their age or experience, willing to ask questions, and willing to share past mistakes.

When horizontal mentorship is implemented optimally, all employees, especially remote employees, feel a greater level of connectivity and identity with their company.
Wed 1 April 2020
Have you ever been in that unique situation? You know the one to which I am referring! You have made a secret decision to go back and further your education, even with your crazy schedule, never thinking you would get accepted! That day comes and you open your email to the words… “Congratulations on your Acceptance into Graduate School!” It is at that moment you wish to have a mentor. Someone who can encourage you, take you under their wing and help you learn new skills.

Mentors can help mentees in several different ways. First off, they can reach out and connect with them because they were on that same path only earlier (furthering their education). They may be in their classes at school and encourage them in a subject in which they are struggling. Secondly, they can reach out and connect with them on LinkedIn; helping them build and/or strengthen their resume and helping them build their network by introducing them to other professionals in the network or tagging them in various posts/events to bring the spotlight on the mentee. 

A major advantage to having a mentor is by helping the mentee in preparing for job interviews by giving mock interviews, helping them nail that interview, improving their interviewing skills, gaining confidence, and giving tips which might mean the difference between a job offer or not.  Mentors can also give emotional as well as professional support.  Many times, even with the best education, grades, and training, professional job offers are difficult to obtain.   For an individual to excel in graduate school and still not be able to acquire that coveted position can be devastating.  Too many “we have decided to move in a different direction…” type letters can cause the newly graduate student or current “almost graduated graduate student,” to rethink their career path and all those student loans.  Mentors have been there, done that, and many times have answers for those questions that are extremely difficult to answer.  

Lastly, a mentor can be a friend.  Someone to answer the tough questions, “am I in the right field,” “am I not dressing appropriately,” “am I too eager,”  all good questions, real feelings, and many times, only a friend can help give that necessary answer.  Mentorship is an important part of today’s professional and academic community – it takes time, commitment and a giving of oneself, but in the end, it is well worth the investment.

Always remember “What it is like on the other side of the desk.”
Mon 30 March 2020
Horizontal mentorship is a mentoring relationship between employees across or within departments free from the influence of the workplace hierarchy.

Horizontal mentorship is the premier way to implement an employee mentor program.

This article serves to show the benefits of horizontal mentorship and the issues with traditional vertical mentorship.

In theory, the idea of vertical mentorship makes sense. A more experienced/knowledgeable person providing wisdom to a less experienced/knowledgeable person.

But, what vertical mentorship alone doesn’t account for is the personal drivers of each person in the relationship and its impact on the longevity and quality of that relationship over time.

Vertical mentorship opens the door for ego and ego is the biggest deterrent to successful mentoring relationships.

To show this point, let’s discuss the story of Shawn. Shawn is the CFO of a major company. He loves the idea of mentorship and believes that he has a lot of wisdom to share with somebody else. But, because Shawn is an executive, he doesn’t necessarily see the relationship being mutual. He’s fine with only providing his wisdom without any expectation of anything in return.

On the surface, this seems altruistic of Shawn…but in reality, Shawn is a nightmare for the other person he is in a mentoring relationship with.

The issue is that Shawn sees himself as an altruistic provider of information. What Shawn doesn’t realize is that his lack of willingness to listen and learn from the other person he is in a mentoring relationship with cripples the relationship. The person Shawn is in a relationship with cannot feel fully connected to Shawn because all Shawn does is spout advice. Shawn doesn’t come prepared with questions to meetings because Shawn perceives himself as a “reactive mentor” meaning that he can excuse himself from preparing for mentor meetings because his reactions to the other person’s questions should be enough to make the relationship valuable.

The result, the relationship fades away because the other person is frustrated with Shawn not being open to learning something from him while Shawn has no idea why the relationship ended and perceives the other person as being ungrateful for not taking full advantage of his wisdom.

The point is that vertical mentorship exaggerates workplace hierarchies and dehumanizes the mentoring relationship.

As opposed to the mentoring relationship being mutual where two people can give to and take from the relationship, it creates an awkward relationship where one person feels belittled and the other person feels disrespected. Vertical mentorship feels more like a transaction and less like a mutually beneficial relationship.

Horizontal mentorship leverages the inherent drives and values people have at work (Work Orientation) and matches them based on those drives.  

No matter the matches’ age, years of experience, or area of expertise, when people are matched together in horizontal mentorship, they are on a level playing field.

This means that both participants come prepared to each mentor meeting with questions for each other and stories to share. 

This means that both participants are willing to be open-minded enough to learn from somebody else regardless of their age or experience, willing to ask questions, and willing to share past mistakes.

Horizontal mentorship removes the transactional nature of vertical mentorship.

Horizontal mentorship breaks through communication barriers and creates empathy between employees at work. 

For building an employee mentor program, horizontal mentorship is the way to go. 

Even if the goal is for a junior employee to learn a skill from a senior employee, if the perception is vertical mentorship, the senior employee is going to perceive the relationship as a hassle while the junior employee is going to feel belittled. If the perception is that this type of mentor relationship is horizontal, it empowers the junior employee and gives the senior employee motivation to engage in the relationship because he now stands to gain something from the relationship.

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Building Mentor Connections Through Work Orientation

Kickstarting Mentorships For Fulfilling Careers