To be successful in any field, aspiring leaders require role models and guidance. This is especially true in consulting domain as an increasing number of its employees; managers opt for work outside of the traditional office setting or leave to start careers in client locations or in a totally new field in a totally new place. At some point during your career, you may have considered following someone as a role model or becoming like someone from your workplace who has mentored you in the beginning stages of your career, I have few experiences which I would like to share with you which helped me grow and sustain in my career as a Consultant.
At BM everyone treats you like their good friend, and through friendship they teach each other, help each other and are honest with each other. And sometimes they want to have conversations about things that you stumble upon and provide examples of overcoming those road blocks. As young professionals we may not be accustomed to an organization’s practices and acceptable behaviors’ but at BM they assign a mentor to coach new employees during the adjustment period to help them get up to speed with real-world knowledge that bridges the gap between Educational degree and actual business practices i.e. When I’m getting ready for a difficult conversation where I know others will disagree with my opinion, my mentors at BM advised me to take time to understand their side of the issue and look for as many areas of agreement before dealing with the disagreements, they also helped me Role-play the conversation which I am supposed to have with my Project manager. I have a very supportive atmosphere at BM where the goal is not to achieve good Client relationship and product development but also concentrates in developing employees in their weak areas gives us a chance to perform better at our projects through which the company also benefits.
Few examples of how BM mentoring helped my career, BM taught me:
- How to monitor my non-verbal communication (i.e., body language, posture, and eye contact) and to seek feedback on any possible negative messages that I might be sending to my Client/Customer or co-workers.
- How to participate and observe dynamics if there is a conflict conversation between two management units by my negotiation skills/conflict resolution process which I learnt while working with BM.
- How to implement “Continuous learning” environment, as mentors and mentees make mistakes at work but then when mistakes are made, bring a small group together to discuss any possible lessons learned and ensure that the information is shared in the meeting without dear or retribution.
- How to respond appropriately and increase my sensitivity to different issues with co-workers.
- How to create our own personal guiding principles for exceeding customer expectations.
These mentors whom I came across in BM weren’t those who provide formal training to employees but by just working with them, talking to them and maintaining a good relationship we can learn the tricks of the trade, develop leadership skills, and also become connected to new professional and organizational contacts. The main message that BM focused on their employees was that: At the end of the day, we should look for opportunities to make your Client/Customer’s happy.
I have created my list of people who I would like to get to know better in building better relationships as they are the key critiques who would give honest feedback and help you grow in your career.
Mirza M Baig