Thank you for listening to the Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! On this episode, we are talking about the hot topics in the leadership world right now. These include mentorship, 2021 leadership and business trends, and advice for when you take on a new leadership position. If these topics interest you and you enjoy this episode, you would be a great candidate for our leadership coaching and leadership mastermind groups! Check them out at www.thechampionforum.com/groups
How should you prepare for a mentorship call and what are the best questions to ask?
The mentor-mentee relationship is just that: a relationship. Every question you ask should created value for both you and your mentor. Otherwise, it becomes a one-sided relationship. Do not treat your meetings lightly. Prepare for the meetings thoughtfully and diligently. If you’re not sure where to start, some great questions are:
What are the keys to developing the next generation of leaders?
What are your favorite questions to ask those that you lead?
What was your biggest failure and how did you learn from it?
Q: What is the best leadership question you have ever been asked? What do you look for in a mentor? Have you ever mentored somebody? What made you value that relationship?
1. Super-High Turnover
As hard as this is to hear, every leader should brace themselves for higher than usual turnover in the next twelve months. As the world moves toward returning to normal, there are more options for job seekers than ever before. I anticipate this will be a short-term trend, but it could have a long-term impact on your business. If you value your team, no is the time to let them know and the time to show them you’d love to keep them.
2. Successful workplaces will have empathetic and inclusive cultures
During some of the most difficult moments of the past 12 months, one leadership trait has outshone the others: empathy! The pandemic provided a stark reminder that leaders who are vulnerable, empathetic, data-driven, honest, collaborative, and prepared to listen foster healthier and more inclusive cultures.
Leaders should play a crucial part in helping create transparent, inclusive, diverse, and psychologically safe workplaces built on trust, equity, and a sense of belonging. Leaders will need to commit to creating a continuous and open dialogue between themselves and the workforce. When they do, they will create a healthy culture that will drive organizational performance too.
There are different types of empathy: cognitive, emotional, and compassionate. Compassionate empathy is the kind that leaders need to pursue with their teams in 2021 because it creates the diverse and inclusive environments that workplaces need. You can improve your compassionate empathy by becoming a better listener, forming a personal bond with your team, and seeing things from their point of view.
Q: What does empathy mean to you? Do you find it challenging to have empathy? Why or why not? Why do you think being an empathetic leader helps you to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace?
Honor the past, built for the future
When you are taking on a new assignment, honor the team’s past while casting vision for the future. You don’t want to spend your time talking about how good your last team was. Instead, you want to build confidence in your team by focusing on how your experience will enable you to help propel them into the future.
Q: What is something that you value about your current team? If you left today, what lesson would you take from your current position? What do you think it means to truly honor the past? Thinking from that perspective, how can you best utilize your time in your current position to prepare for the future?
Spend some time intentionally preparing for your next meeting with your mentor. Beyond just coming up with questions, consider how you can show that you have applied the advice they have already given you. When you do, you will add value to them as a mentor and show them that their time is being spent well.
What is your current turnover rate at your company? Evaluate the things you are doing to encourage your employees to stay. What can you do additionally for your team to make sure that their concerns are being heard and that they want to stay with your company? In your one-on-one meetings, ask your employees about their next steps and look for ways to add value to them outside of your regular employee development plans.
Sometimes it can be hard to be empathetic because you are distracted by other things that are going on. You also might find it hard to empathize when you are uncomfortable in emotional situations. The next time you are with someone who is going through a challenging situation, focus on listening closely to what they are saying and observing their body language. Using active listening tools to help identify the right words to label their emotions will help you better understand and empathize with them.