As National Mentoring Day approached, I reflected on how instrumental mentoring has been to me throughout my career.
At key points, guidance and advice from colleagues helped me move forward when I was stuck or needed to solve a challenging problem. It was a mentoring style relationship that first led me to having a life coach. This transformational experience was so impactful that I trained myself and am now qualified to practice life coaching, a defining experience in my career.
Within the responsibilities of my Group Account Director role at Momentum I implement my life coaching skills daily through a series of mentoring relationships within the network. At my work, it’s a core element to developing our talent. Within our BALANCE programme, created to implement well-being, community and diversity initiatives, mentoring and life coaching are championed individually, and as a hybrid. Knowing my employer realises the importance allows me to also prioritise time with my own mentor. We’ve recently been focusing on balancing work and motherhood since I returned from maternity leave in April this year.
The practice of mentoring is fantastic; it allows others to leapfrog the learning process by gaining from the experience of others. Knowing that someone has your back and has been through what you are going through not only builds confidence but inspires you to aim higher. There is a plethora of evidence to back up the importance of mentoring in the workplace. The guidance and experience that comes from working with someone who has been through it before is priceless, but there is another layer which can deepen the impact of the mentor’s role considerably.
Although humans are fundamentally interdependent beings, we’re also truly unique in the way we process information and our own beliefs and values. We tell ourselves stories, create personalised realities and get in the way of ourselves when pursuing goals. When you start to break down your personal barriers, and couple this with fantastic mentoring, magic happens. The most seismic shifts occur when the practice of mentoring and life coaching come together in a truly meaningful way, taking the mentee forward exponentially.
A common question is what’s the difference between life coaching and mentoring? For me, it’s about outside-in verses inside-out. Mentoring focuses on how the mentor’s experience, perspective and learnings from their own success can guide the mentee in achieving their goals. It’s the external influence of the mentor impacting the mentee. Life coaching on the other hand focuses on the coach becoming the mirror to help the coachee understand their own patterns of behaviour. Done through powerful questions designed to challenge the coachee’s perspective of their own reality, therefore developing self-awareness. By understanding yourself internally, it impacts on how goals are approached externally.
Hybrid mentorship is fundamental to the development of talent, particularly for women, helping challenge people’s own perceptions of their abilities and to aim higher. Learning to use mentorship as an opportunity to develop our own emotional intelligence, awareness of self and to fundamentally shift perspective, has a long-term impact. I can highly recommend being a mentor or mentee, you’ll see the benefits from both sides.
Dina Silbermann, UK Group Account Director at Momentum Worldwide
Dina embodies our mission to make the most meaningful, entertaining and shareable experiences through her work with American Express, leading activation and sponsorship across the American Express business in the UK. This includes Somerset House Summer Series, London Film Festival, National Theatre, The O2, All Points East and Wimbledon sponsorships. Dina not only leads client relationships, she also coaches and mentors our employees as a qualified life coach. Recently returning from maternity leave, Dina was promoted to Group Account Director and joined our High Performance Programme. She is inspiring and a true champion for females forging their careers, helping employees reach their true potential and professional goals by building an inclusive and supportive working environment. Dina has passion, drive and is a professional through and through.