Leaders connect with people to help them be as great as they can be

Sandra learned from one of her influential mentors that outstanding leaders connect with people on their teams. Her mentor called people at random to check in with them to see how they were going and what they needed. She also followed up and addressed their concerns if possible. They appreciated her commitment to them and, as a result, were right behind her. Her mentor’s simple practice showed Sandra the power of connecting with people and engaging with each person. 

The same mentor challenged Sandra to step up by urging her for over a year to take on a bigger leadership role. She listened to Sandra’s objections and worked with her to deal with them. It gave Sandra first-hand experience of the value of standing for others and believing in them more than they believe in themselves at a point in time. 

Now Sandra is paying it forward. She has adopted a similar practice of face-to-face or virtual coffee conversations to get to know her team, many of whom have been moved to other parts of the world with or without their families. The meetings are an opportunity for them to discuss their concerns. They appreciate her taking the time to check in with them. She is just as committed as her mentor to developing leaders around her to be as great as they can be. Sandra has noticed that a stronger sense of teamwork has developed and the team has lifted their performance because of her practice.

She is reaping the rewards of mentoring, even though the roles are now reversed.   

Sandra’s experience of the value of giving and receiving mentoring is well supported by research. 

Psychologist Dr. Lauren Bidwell from SAP HR Research summarised 30 years of research into mentoring, which shows that done right, mentoring makes a significant positive difference to mentees, their mentors and organisations. 

Improved career outcomes ⭐️

Forty-three studies showed that compared to non-mentored employees, mentored employees:

  • Receive higher compensation and a greater number of promotions
  • Feel more satisfied and committed to their career
  • Are more likely to believe they will advance in their career

Employee engagement and retention 😊

  • Employees who were part of a mentoring relationship were found to have significantly higher engagement scores than employees who were not. 
  • Mentored employees felt more positively about their organization’s senior leadership and their organization as a place to work for

Mentor benefits ↕️

In addition, mentoring relationships lead to benefits to the mentors as well as the mentees. Compared to non-mentors, leaders who act as mentors:

  • Report greater job satisfaction and organizational commitment
  • Have greater career success themselves

🙋 What are your practices for connecting with the people around you? 🙋‍♀️

Best regards, Brian