“You may never know how many problems have been avoided because someone took the time to notice someone else – mentors can be that someone who notices, listens, and cares.” – John Christens

This article is submitted by Capgemini’s Mentoring Matters Leadership Team. 

Mentoring Matters is Capgemini’s Employee Resource Group (ERG) which focuses on the benefits of mentorship.  The mission of Mentoring Matters is to strengthen and develop employee networks, provide guidance related to the attainment of career and personal aspirations, and foster a culture of coaching and a sense of inclusion. If you are interested in obtaining a mentor, or becoming a mentor, please contact our Mentoring Matters ERG Leaders:  mentorprogram.nar@capgemini.com.

In January, during National Mentoring Month, Yvonne Harris, NA Diversity & Inclusion Manager, asked Tiffany Huang, our Social Media Manager, why having a mentor is important to her. This month, let’s look at it from the other side – why is it important to BE a mentor?

This is a question that many people ask themselves, especially when approached to be a mentor, or participate in a mentoring program. Let’s face it, our days are pretty full already. Who has time to add another task to that already huge pile?

North America Talent Management, Jana Zavitz

Jana Zavitz, one of the Leads of Capgemini’s Mentoring Matters Program, recently sat down with John Christens, an Account Executive in our Energy and Utilities practice, to speak to him about why he is involved in mentoring.  John currently mentors four individuals, and while it is challenging to meet with this many people, he feels that the rewards are well worth the effort.

JZ    Why did you want to become a mentor?

JC    I’ve been very fortunate in my career to have had some very positive influences in my professional life – people who believed in me and took the time to help me think about what I liked doing, what I was good at, how to succeed at whatever I was doing and what I wanted to do in the future. I truly enjoy helping others develop and succeed as professionals and individuals, and this program is an opportunity to do that – outside the normal boundaries and constraints of reporting relationships.  

JZ    How have you, as a mentor, benefited from your mentoring partnership?

JC    The greatest benefit is to actually experience another person’s success and to know that we helped to play a part in it, no matter how small. I think another benefit has been to realize, or at least suspect, that we may be part of helping retain a key contributor as a Capgemini employee by simply providing them with an avenue to express concerns and to get coaching on how to move forward in their career.

Anytime we agree to spend time with someone to help them develop, grow, or simply deal with difficulties, we are challenged to become better listeners and to take the extra time to think and plan. I always learn and grow from those I’m mentoring, because they so often remind me of my own needs. In fact more times than not, I end up “taking my own advice.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Energy & Utilities Account Executive, John Christens

JZ    What was the best advice you received from a mentor?

JC    One of the best pieces of advice I received was that success in business is more than just doing the right thing—it’s also about influencing people and bringing them along with you – relationships are just as important as accomplishing the tasks, and people need to feel good about the experience they have in working with you.

John believes that it is important to give back to his organization, and one of the most meaningful ways to do this is by mentoring. He feels that not sharing the benefits of his experience is a real loss to the company, and he often learns just as much from his mentees as they do from him.

This blog is authored by:

Lisa Kastner, Senior Service Delivery Manager

Kerry Lyle, Project Manager

Jana Zavitz, Learning Business Partner

With contributions from John Christens, Vice President.

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