Hanging out with my (Toronto) mentee

Hanging out with my (Toronto) mentee

New Girl on the Block is a mentorship program but sicker than your average. I’ve mentored over 100 women in 6 countries which means I’ve sat in a lot of meetings whether it be skype, call or in-person. The photo above is me with some of the girls I mentor here in Toronto. With every conversation, email transaction and each one of my actions I try to show them what success looks like. I meet with each of them via skype or in-person on a regular basis to discuss life planning, career strategies and take up homework assignments. The moment they join I send them my code of conduct which outlines my expectations for each meeting. I set the bar high from the jump. I raise my expectations so that each and every one of them understand that excellence is the bare minimum.

Planning is important.

When you’re prepared you will experience less stress, boost your confidence and meet core objectives. I don’t know about you, but I like to be productive and don’t like my time wasted either. I’ve made common mistakes and believed in myths that prevented me from getting an opportunity I wanted. Don’t let it happen to you. Now, as a businesswoman who is focused on growth and building partnerships, I can’t afford to drop the ball. I need to be on-point and ready to catch it. Because ain’t nobody giving out championship rings to people who don’t come to practice. You’ve got to earn it. Here are a few ways to bring your ‘A’ game to the table each and every time.

1. Send out a calendar invite to all attendees 
The people who get annoyed when I request a calendar invite are the ones I assume have poor time management skills. A verbal agreement is never enough to depend on. Lock it in and get it scheduled right away so that it is understood that it is happening at a specific time and location.

2. Know the agenda
People will always try to book time in your calendar not knowing that highly productive people are very careful how they spend their time. Always inquire about the agenda and who will be attending the meeting because the truth is most meetings don€™t need to happen. Limit meetings and keep them as short as possible. If you set meeting expectations from the beginning, you’ll save time in the end. Everyone should know the purpose of the meeting, why the meeting is being held and what is required of their contribution.

3. Be prepared in advance 
Do not wait the day off to get your shit in order. Why give yourself stress when you don’t need to? If you know the meeting is coming up, carve time in your agenda to plan your material, speaking points, transit/driving route and attire.

I receive emails often from people who request my time and want to stop by my office. I am always down to help where I can, but my only ask is that it is productive. One student recently stopped by to ‘Pick my brain’ and came without a notebook, tape recorder or writing utensil.

*Scratches head*

As you can imagine, I was so puzzled. I just didn’t understand how she was going to take in what I said without writing anything down. At the very least bring a tablet or jot notes on your phone. Look engaged. Stay alert.

4. Arrive early
Plan ahead and give yourself enough time for travel. Account for all types of delays. It could be traffic, construction, accidents, etc. I wrote an article called No You’re Not Late, You are Impolite and Selfish about my thoughts on people who don’t value time. Check it out.

5. If you were asked to come with idea, COME WITH IDEAS
I can’t stress enough. Meetings give you an opportunity to do two things: Listen, learn and dazzle. If you are asked to bring something to the table, don’t just bring a knife and fork.

6. Calls-to-Action 
Following the meeting, every goal and action item needs a “point person” and due dates should be established.

Peace & Love,