Mentoring: A Give and Take Relationship

MAY-JUNE 2016|BY BUSINESS PARTNERS
Marcel Cremer and Margarita S. Bay discuss the role, value and benefits of the mentoring process.

Mentor

MARCEL CREMER, ATTORNEY-AT-LAW, CREMER & PARTNERS

I began my “career” as a mentor 3 years ago. I was asked by one of the incubators in Athens to offer pro bono legal advice and guidance to young entrepreneurs. It sounded exciting and I grasped the opportunity to use my toolbox of soft skills for a good purpose. With time I realized that it was more than just a “little help” to startupers and since then, I have been mentoring in 3 different networks.

Mentoring uses a bundle of instruments such as emotional intelligence, professional insight and network access. It is a virtuous path, as both parties operate dually as transponder and receiver in an effort to maximize the give-and-take. My personal preference is the Socratic method whereby questions are posed and the mentee, in the attempt to answer them, enters into a reflection process which creates a solid basis for the next steps. Right after, comes stimulation through a narrative of my own haul while pointing out potential “dos and don’ts.” Finally, depending on the nature of business and of the objectives set, a strong dose of networking with the right crowd always helps in forging new business relations.

I have been fortunate enough to mentor open minded and skilled people so far who all ventured successfully after completing the mentoring cycle.

Mentee

MARGARITA S. BAY, MECHANICAL ENGINEER NTUA, CEO AT BOXENGINEERING P.C.

The moment I realized that I needed to take my business one step further, I made the decision to engage in a mentor-mentee relationship, offered by “iforU,” empowering women entrepreneurs, and Marcel Cremer, my mentor.

After defining who you are, what you do and how, the initial objectives are clearly set along with concrete goals for the future. Mentees have to trust and be willing to help a mentor help them. A dynamic process, which definitely includes practicing the  mentor’s valuable tips on networking, positioning one’s self in the business market and enhancing emotional intelligence, leads to small successful steps and increased professional effectiveness and therefore results in deeper self-confidence. The real value of this highly structured relationship lies with the mentor leading by example and teaching evaluation methods for decision making and addressing professional dilemmas, consequently changing the mentee’s mentality for the better, instead of making all decisions alone.

Having been deeply inspired by my mentor’s guidance and extensively exposed to successful entrepreneurs’ influence in various situations, I found the required motivation to pursue my freshly shaped vision along with the ability to develop leadership skills. I can unreservedly recommend mentoring as a life-changing experience to anyone who is sincerely committed to both professional and personal development.

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