All morning I was struggling with a topic for a blog. I thought of a couple outlandish, like “Treat Your Employees Like Puerto Rican Races Horses: Perform or Die” and then I realized that had been done, it is called the GE Way. So I went looking for inspiration by reading other blogs. It did not take long. I read Penelope Trunk’s post today, in The Brazen Careerist, about finding a mentor entitled “How I Found My Favorite Mentor”. Some very sage advice. This includes a link to a previous post on a 7-Step Plan to Find a Mentor which I thought was excellent.
Much of the advice she gives in these posts also applies to the process of networking. And keeping in touch with clients and customers. And employees and bosses. It is all about people skills. One of her lines in particular points this out: “…meeting in person makes the relationship feel qualitatively deeper by virtue of the fact that you get that whole other layer of nonverbal communication.” (BTW, reading the comments section is almost as instructive as reading the post itself.)
I have a few email “mentors” who I have never met in person. As a result of reading Penelope’s blog post I am going to make an effort to meet some of these people.
Everyone in HR should have several mentors (learned that from reading above) and should make an effort to meet them in person. Give it a try. If you have mentors add to the discussion and tell us how you found them and how you keep them.
I also think that recruiters should make an effort to meet candidates in person. I know in my recruiting past this often changed my impression of people, for good and bad. And I know that getting a candidate in front of the hiring manager often worked to their benefit as well. So recruiters chime in, what has your experience been?