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How do you get others to view you as a leader? What are some common missteps women make when establishing their roles in the workplace? When do you know it’s time to leave a company?
It’s nearly impossible to find answers to all the questions we are regularly challenged with in our personal and professional lives in one sitting. After all, the “right” approach is gleaned from years of experience and a fair share of trial and error. But WISE’s Speed Mentoring Roundtables — hosted in January in celebration of National Mentoring Month — sets out to get the dialogue started in a positive and productive way.
“Anytime you can interact with people in your industry, it gets your brain going,” participant Randye Ringler said at NYC Metro's 2015 roundtables event.
Over the course of three 15-minute small-group sessions (sessions may vary by chapter), participants find themselves across the table from an impressive group of industry veterans — their “mentors” for the night — with carte blanche to fire away with some of the more pressing questions facing professional women today.
At NYC Metro's 2015 event, the conversation centered on leadership development, handling strengths and weaknesses, and interview techniques. For me, some of the evening’s biggest takeaways came courtesy of mentors Kathleen Francis, WISE chairman/president and founder/president of Oasis Sports Ventures, and Bess Brodsky, career specialist and lecturer for Columbia University’s graduate sports management program and president of BB Consulting.
When it comes to cultivating a leadership role for ourselves, Francis encouraged us to get out of our own space and get to know the other people within our organization. Gaining an understanding of how they approach their jobs will allow us to better tailor our requests, she said, and foster more thoughtful relationships in the process.
Brodsky reminded us that employers that are hiring are doing so because they have a need to fill. How can we be a solution for them? Let the interviewer do some talking, she said, so you can identify some of the company’s hot-button issues and respond directly with specific examples.
Continuing the Conversation
And the best part? These were just the words of wisdom I was privy to. Throughout the night and around the room, similarly inspired conversations were happening among the other participants and mentors, not to mention at other Speed Mentoring Roundtables hosted by WISE chapters across the country.
We have a lot to learn from one another; we have worthwhile advice to share. If you haven't been able to attend your chapter’s Speed Mentoring Roundtables, don't wait until the next one — get to whatever the next WISE event in your area is and let’s keep the conversation going.
Read more about Speed Mentoring Roundtables.
About Kristina Dodge
Kristina M. Dodge is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City. Most recently, she was executive editor of the New York Yankees’ publications department, responsible for the editorial content of the team’s flagship publications. Prior to joining the Yankees, Dodge was a copy editor/page designer at the Observer-Dispatch in Utica, New York, and a page designer at the Home News Tribune in East Brunswick, New Jersey. Dodge has been involved with WISE since 2011 and is currently managing editor of WISEworks.org. In March 2017, she completed a monthlong service project in Peru. She received her bachelor’s degree in public communications from Syracuse University.
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