Lisbhit England signed up for our Coaching and Mentoring program. After working with a coach first, she got matched with her mentor Lucia Belkova and they clicked instantly. And despite this being Lucia’s first time mentoring fully online, they managed to overcome this challenge through transparency and building trust. In their interview, Lis and Lucia open up about their mentoring journey, what surprised them, what they learned and what were their favorite parts of it all.
What inspired you to join the Coaching & Mentoring program?
Lucia [mentor]: For me, it was pretty straightforward. I was already doing a lot of mentoring and coaching in my previous jobs, benefiting from it. I like when both parties are benefiting from it and the different perspectives of how people think. For example, I can often benefit from a particular situation that the mentee is facing, and I can think about it and get inspired in a similar case when I’m solving a problem. Even for me, it’s a journey full of new things. I can give lots of advice within my company because I know the people, company culture and processes. But if you are mentoring a person outside of your environment, you need to think twice if there is something that can match the current situation of your mentee. I didn’t know the environment in which Lis works, and it was interesting for me to compare.
Lisbhit [mentee] : For me, it was also about looking for new perspectives. I want to grow in my professional life, but I want to have a very objective and pragmatic vision. A friend of mine recommended Femme Palette. I went through coaching with my amazing coach Bára, and then when we started with Lucia, we had this amazing chemistry. She’s a strong individual and I thought “wow, this is fantastic”.
Was there something that surprised you about the program?
Lucia [mentor]: One thing surprised me. When I was mentoring somebody from the company where I worked, it was clear that the person was unsure if mentoring was good for them. They did not know precisely what they're looking for. With Lis it was clear from the beginning. She knew why she needed a mentor and had a topic to solve. So the surprise for me was that I didn't think "OMG, what will we do?"
Lisbhit [mentee] : Yes. When we started with Lucia, we did the Clifton Strengths assessment. She said that we’d focus on my strengths, not my weaknesses. Before this, I was used to everyone saying to focus on your weaknesses and fix them. Never before have I focused on my strengths. So that was enlightening .
Lucia [mentor]: When I'm coaching or mentoring, I focus on the mentee's strengths. When I started listening to Lis, it was clear where she is strong, but I was not truly understanding how strong she is. It was amazing to watch how she reshaped her way of thinking.
Lis, which areas have you progressed in most thanks to your mentor?
Lisbhit [mentee]: Well, first of all, my personal negotiation skills. Lucia told me that when you’re negotiating, you need to say a lot, but talk less. So I just used this strategy in different conversations that have led me to not just achieve my goals, but also to a recent promotion. Being direct and concise, I’m also using this technique on a lot of the messages I received. I’ve already made a lot of my colleagues do the Clifton Strengths (laughs).
Lucia, what have you learned from your mentee?
Lucia [mentor]: What I learned from Lis was that no matter what kind of challenge she was facing in her company, I loved her passion. The passion and the love for what she is doing were highly refreshing to me. After meetings with Lis, I asked myself whether I have this passion and energy. I thought of this when approaching things day to day, task to task. I wanted my team to feel the passion. When you feel passion or energy, you follow.
What was your favorite mentoring moment?
Lucia [mentor]: I remember precisely the first mentoring first session. During covid times, it was extremely tricky to meet in person. That means that we did all the meetings online. It was the first time for me mentoring fully online. It was hard for me having only my screen to know each other, to recognize what is going on. We overcame it. I believe that we will meet in person and it will be very interesting. So, for me it was a challenge, but I must say that we understood each other, despite it being all just on screens.
Lisbhit [mentee]: Yeah, we live with these ZOOM calls and I’m actually getting used to it as the new normal. But for me, my favorite part was that every session was so unique. We built trust despite never meeting in person. And that trust is so important, just being completely transparent. Every session was amazing and very inspiring.
If we could only learn one thing from Lis and Lucia’s mentoring experience, it would most likely be that having a trusting and transparent relationship with a mentor can help you achieve almost anything. It’s also a great reminder that mentoring is beneficial for both sides - Lucia inspired Lis, but the same also happened vice versa.
If this mentoring journey has inspired you, join the Femme Palette Coaching and Mentoring program just like Lis did! You can choose to spend either 3 or 5 hours with a professional coach to discover your goals and, if needed, focus on your personal development. In the second phase, you will spend up to 12 hours with your personal mentor to work on achieving your goals.