FitT Spotlight Interview: Mentor & Mentee

Are you considering embarking on a new journey as a FitT mentor or mentee in 2020?
Find out what it’s all about in this interview with our 2019 participants Jenni Dean and Fithri Shalihah.

Mentee

Fithri Shalihah, Network Engineer

Why did you join the FitT mentoring program?
I joined the mentoring program as I was at a stage in my career where I needed guidance on the direction I wanted to take my career in. I also saw it as an amazing opportunity to connect with and learn from senior and experienced professionals in the industry.

Did you find it worthwhile?
Leaving the program now I’ve learnt some key tools and points to help me continue in my career journey. One of which was to be intentional in my actions where possible. This I found really helped me to be more strategic in my decisions and hence be more confident in myself among other things. I have also gained a friend whom I’ve stayed in touch with beyond the program.

Would you recommend mentoring to others, if so why?
I would definitely recommend the program to others given how much it’s helped me navigate my career. It’s also a brilliant way to expand your network whether it be with other mentees or mentors in the program that are beyond your own workplace.

Your top tips getting the most out of a mentoring relationship?
To get the most out of the program, prepare in advance on what you want to talk about in your catch ups with your mentor. Follow up on your actions and be proactive. Initiate conversations and meetings with the mentor. Taking notes is also a great way to remember key points you talked about and note down any actions that might have come up in the catch ups.

Mentor

Jenni Dean, Agile Coach

Who was your first mentor?
My first mentor was a lecturer when I was studying my Masters in Business Coaching; as I had a number of great mentors in this course.

Why do you see mentoring as such an important part of life?
Mentoring provides a great opportunity to learn and continue to grow, as regardless of how experienced we are, we all still need Mentors.  I have many Mentors, depending on where I need assistance will dictate which Mentor I approach.  Some of my Mentors are work colleagues and friends, as well as professional engagements of mentors.

Why do you mentor?
I get great joy out of watching people learn, grow and being part of their journey.

Your tips on being a great mentor?
I start with a ‘coaching stance’ to understand ‘why they are here’. This guides me to which approach to take with my mentee (coach, mentor, teacher etc) as they are different roles with different intent. A coach guides the coachee to their own solution through Powerful Questions, a mentor provides feedback on your experience to their issue (when asked) and a teacher can show a new technique/skill to add to their toolbox.

I use Powerful Questions to help guide the Mentee to identify what they think they are looking for – noting this may change through the mentoring process. As a Mentor you may need to change your focus as you go. I always let the Mentee know which stance I am in (coach, mentor, teacher), so they understand the purpose of my feedback and how to use it.

I let the Mentee organise the times to catch up, which shows commitment. I also provide ‘homework interventions’ which help form part of the conversations when we catchup.