Linkedin Local, Powai, February 2020: The Mentorship Special

The second edition of Linkedin Local in Powai was held on 8th February 2020.

Let me quickly brief you about this local which was launched on 10th January this year. Apart from the great offline networking opportunities, here are a few things that you get at this local:

– It’s one of a kind in and around Powai

– “I love ppts” – said no one! And at this Local – you don’t get any!

– Book recommendations every month to help you discover great resources of knowledge

-“Ask your community” lets one person put forth one “ask” before the community

The theme for February – find your work Valentine – was a spin off on the Valentine theme in the context of mentoring. Keeping with the theme, I wanted to have mentor-mentee pairs to bring out the concept through their experiences.

As herculean as it was to find mentors whose mentees were free on the same evening, I was thrilled when things fell in place at the last minute!

From a corporate veteran turned full time mentor to a homeopathy doctor turned entrepreneur, I couldn’t have wished for a better set of work Valentines!

WELCOME AND REGISTRATIONS

The evening started with networking over coffee as guests and participants arrived and registered themselves.

As usual, the formal part of the event began at 6 pm with a welcome and an introduction of what Linkedin Local Powai is all about.

THE NETWORKING GAME

It is always fun to start the event with an activity. And just like last time, we had all the people present go around and talk to each other. This time, they were to talk to 2 people and find 3 things in common with each other.

It was great to see that not only were people excited to talk to more people but they also volunteered and shared what they learnt about their new friends.

THE PANEL

And then it was time for the thing I was most excited about – hearing our speakers talk about mentoring and how to make it work.

Although each speaker was more illustrious than the other, I had to make do with short and snappy introductions so that we could get the discussion started.

Here’s the impressive line up:

THE MENTOR

Moloy Chakravorty has more than 2 decades of experience in senior leadership roles across locations and industries. He is a Certified Life, Executive and Happiness Coach from University of Berkeley.

THE MENTEE

Anila Srivastava has done BFA – Commercial Arts (Advertising), PGDM in Marketing. She has 15 years of work experience in field of Advertising and Product Packaging and is currently working with Hindustan Unilever Limited.

THE MENTOR

Bhavesh Kothari is currently the Co-Founder & Director at Billennium Divas Fund, and Co-Founder & CBO at Tapaswi Group Ventures LLP. He actively mentors start-ups in various areas of their business such as strategy, business management, Sales & marketing

THE MENTEE

Dr. Bhavi Mody is a Health Evangelist, Homeopathic Specialist, working relentlessly to cure health ailments in women and children while promoting overall healing. The Founder of Vrudhi Holistic Health Care in Mumbai, her vision is to provide Holistic Homeopathic healthcare globally.

Here are the excerpts of the discussion:

The mentor’s perspective – who can be your mentor?

Moloy is very candid in saying that mentors shouldn’t ideally come from one’s workplace or in the family. Trust and the ability to open up is key to a mentor-mentee association. The facade we have at the work place and the familiarity that comes from family members – both can impede the mentoring process.

You should also be clear about why you need a mentor, Bhavesh added. Depending on what you are looking for, you could find a suitable mentor. He also says that one has to have complete faith in one’s mentor.

Bhavesh and Moloy, both reiterated that

mentoring is a very responsible job and patience is key – for both the people involved.

Bhavesh strongly feels that mentoring is not a one way process – it’s a transaction. The learning is 2-way. The mentee should be willing to contribute as much as benefit from the association.

The mentee’s perspective – what to expect?

Set clear expectations, says Dr, Bhavi. And expecting the mentor to solve all your problems with the swish of a magic wand cannot be one of them.

Bhavi and Bhavesh also shared how they made their association work. Bhavi is the subject matter expert and Bhavesh brought in the business intelligence essential to make her product a success.

Talk to different people to check who you have the chemistry and trust with. Read on to know which is the wrong kind of mentor for you.

What does a mentor do?

One of the first things that a mentor can do is to help you clarify your thoughts. Anila vouches for the clarity and foresight that her mentor brought into her goals and ideas when they first started talking to each other.

Moloy added that it is the responsibility of the mentor to refuse to take on a mentee if the help needed is beyond his/her dominion. Else, the endeavour is doomed from the start. So it’s okay to redirect the person to a more appropriate source.

Here’s a peek into his choice of mentees – He doesn’t take on people who come to him with a list of “want to”. He looks for goals that you “have to”. It’s the fire in the belly that’ll drive you forward to fulfilling your dreams. And without that, a mentor is of little use.

Closing remarks – highlight of the discussion too!

One thing that hit me hard and deep is the closing advice that Moloy had for everyone looking for a mentor:

If you don’t feel discomfort during the process of mentoring, give up that mentor

You should feel pushed and disturbed at what the mentor asks you to do. Unless you feel the pain, you won’t change.

Anila had a great insight to add to this from her personal experience. She says that the change that happens in you has to be visible in your interactions with others. Mentors don’t conform the change and hand out treats for doing well.

If your mentoring is a success, you will have people around you vouch for the change in you

By this point in the discussion we were almost 15 minutes behind schedule.

But we did take audience questions and views since we did not want to break the flow of the thoughts from the insightful discussion.

Dr. Kavita Kamraj added another perspective – one can have multiple mentors to cater to different goals. As we move on in life, we need mentors of different capabilities so it’s okay to move on and find new ones as one’s goals change.

BOOK RECOMMENDATION

I quickly moved on to the book recommendation of the month. After Presence by Amy Cuddy in January, I was excited about the book I had chosen this month too.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain – a path breaking book that presents the history of Western culture where extroverts are celebrated and introverts are considered inferior.

She looks at the extroversion-introversion concept from various angles and very insightfully shows that introverts are just as successful in social roles.

ASK YOUR COMMUNITY

“Make 2020 the year you “ask” more often” – Gary V

A community comes with an advantage of multiple skills sets and cumulative experience that helps it grow as a group

Each month, at Linkedin Local, Powai, one member will get an opportunity to share a request with your community. It could asking for help, looking for a contact, seeking business help, looking for job leads – the choice is yours!

This month, Sulochana Krishna asked for connects with parents of grade 8 to 12 who need tutors for their kids. If you are a parent or know others who can help, drop me a line in the comment.

This is your community and helping each other out is what makes it strong!

It was the end of a great event on a topic that isn’t discussed with such clarity.

If you missed this one and want to be a part of the awesomeness, register for the next one. On 6th March, we welcome Kabir Cafe, a band of passionate men who believe in the philosophy of Kabir and and have made a living in a city like Mumbai singing it!

Use the code KABIRCAFE for 200 off till 15th Feb to register here.

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