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Nicole Tran, Au. In particular, she focuses on the needs of female officers after reflecting on a deliberate session she and others had last summer. Read on! On a warm summer, COVID-stricken day, in San Antonio, Texas, eight women walk into a bar… well, a room… well, a hotel dining area… but none of that matters. Eight junior Army officers came together collectively to discuss their perceptions of mentorship. It was joyful to experience a sense of community and connection surrounding our professional development and mentorship. The key points that we talked about were: how to find a mentor, how we hope to develop through the mentorship relationship, and advice for new leaders.
There was much discussion about how to develop or solicit the mentorship relationship. Most officers have developed coaching relationships with a senior commander, supervisor, or academic instructor. However, many participants openly shared that they were unsure how to find a mentor without the academic relationship. They also expressed how they were not comfortable with a mentor being within their chain of command.
A majority said they would accept a mentor of lower rank who had more experience, and about half had a same-gender mentor preference.
The remaining participants, who would accept a different-gender male mentor, want him to be mindful of gender differences and gender expectations and not shy away from addressing such topics. Collectively, the women reported wanting to find mentors that are:. Some also expressed the desire to feel pursued by a mentor, share some commonalities, and receive respect as a person, officer, leader, and woman.
In an effort to develop themselves and become better leaders, these young professionals reported that they would appreciate mentorship related to the following areas:. Some passionate topics of discussion included developing the self-awareness and confidence to have strength as a leader without being seen as emotional e. Each officer understood that the mentorship relationship is a two-way street and agreed that the mentee needs to communicate their needs and be flexible with scheduling.
All of the women expressed that they must be open, authentic, and vulnerable with the mentor. If not, they likely will not receive pointed and necessary guidance they seek. Consequently, they need to be prepared to accept constructive criticism and honest feedback. Although these women are seeking mentorship themselves, they also have the desire to be mentors to others. Based on their personal experiences and what they have learned thus far, they shared advice that could help other female leaders and possibly their future mentees.
Advice is as follows:. Lastly, and ificantly important, one officer a Mental Health Professional advised us to be mindful of mental health concerns by watching for warning s. These bright, dedicated, and professional women are ready for mentorship. They described how excited they are for their upcoming leadership roles and would like to be equipped with skills and resources to advocate for those they lead. These young women have a strong desire for personal growth — which may also be true in your organization if you recently welcomed new personnel!
Now is the time to help them blossom. Perhaps a method to employ is establishing the support of mentorship Women want nsa Mountain North Dakota in our organizations by connecting all new personnel with someone that can potentially be a mentor.
This may provide an opportunity for the relationship to develop, or at a minimum, establish the precedence of importance in a mentorship relationship. Start a conversation. Spark a transformation. Remember me Your privacy is important to us and we will never rent or sell your information. Collectively, the women reported wanting to find mentors that are: trustworthy honest and open able to speak candidly available to commit time to the relationship unbiased able to see the bigger picture Some also expressed the desire to feel pursued by a mentor, share some commonalities, and receive respect as a person, officer, leader, and woman.
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