Mentor case study: Building confidence & finding your own leadership style

Written by
Femme Palette
Published on
August 1, 2022

Not feeling confident is something that we all struggle with at one point or another over the course of our careers. Building confidence, becoming more assertive as a leader and finding your own style is an important goal for many mentees who are aiming to move into a leadership role or who have found themselves in a management position recently. Working with a mentor who has overcome imposter syndrome and improved their own confidence shows mentees that they aren’t alone and that it is possible to overcome these challenges with the right resources and support.

We asked Femme Palette mentor Maja Seggerman about the strategy she used to help her mentee build confidence as a leader.

Building self-confidence

Maja’s mentee joined the mentoring program looking for support with building confidence and becoming a more assertive and aspiring leader. She was also looking to improve her communication style so she could grow in her current role and continue her personal development and growth as well. For Maja, it was important that her mentee felt seen by her for them to connect on a deeper level. Imposter syndrome is something that we all have experienced in varying degrees so it was key to let the mentee know she wasn’t alone.

Sharing knowledge & resources based on mentee’s needs

Maja shared how she overcame situations similar to what the mentee was facing and after their session, she followed up with links to articles, TED talks and books to give her mentee the tools she needed to implement for herself the ideas during their conversation. She also addressed the topic of imposter syndrome by picking out the positive words or flipping the mentee’s narrative into something positive to show the difference that perspective makes. Imposter syndrome/Inner Critic was such an important hurdle to overcome for the mentee to overcome that they dedicated an entire hour to exploring the topic with a coaching-style approach, which they both found really useful.

Maja’s approach for helping her mentee was to tailor the mentorship to her needs by asking what she would find most beneficial and useful for reaching her goal. Maja then used that input from her mentee to adjust her style to fit the mentee’s needs and preferences.

After the initial introduction during which they talked about the big agenda for the overall duration of the mentoring, Maja and her mentee discussed all of the topics in more detail, agreed on the key themes to focus on, and turned this into a specific roadmap for their journey together. From there, it was up to the mentee to decide a few days prior to their meeting which topic she wanted to focus on for that particular meeting so that they could both be prepared ahead of time.

Over the past few years, Maja has collected articles, talks and book recommendations that she was able to share with her mentee after their meetings. These included resources from Harvard Business Review, TED talks, and Do lectures. Maja also reviewed and commented on her mentee’s preparation materials for personal reviews and 1:1 meetings, providing additional insight and support to help the mentee feel confident that she was on the right track.

“It is always lovely to be part of the journey towards their goal, even if the outcome is not 100% the way they envisioned it at the beginning. It is courage, pride of overcoming a hurdle and most importantly, that they dare to sit in the driver’s seat that makes it special.” - Maja Seggerman, Femme Palette mentor

Improved confidence and a promotion

Following their time working together, Maja feels that her mentee succeeded in reaching her goal in many different ways—from building overall confidence and finding her own voice to being an empathetic, positive leader and receiving a promotion. They also built a strong relationship and are still in contact with each other today, which Maja feels is an additional beautiful outcome of the mentoring program.

“Believe in your mentees, champion them, dream with them and most importantly, nudge them on and out of their comfort zone. Finally, we are all more resourceful than we think!” - Maja Seggerman, Femme Palette mentor

Could you use some guidance from a mentor like Maja? Check out our Mentoring program where you’ll be matched for up to 12 hours of mentoring with an experienced mentor from our global community.

If you’d like to share your experience and help someone progress in their career like Maja did, become a mentor with Femme Palette! And if you’re not sure if you have what it takes to be a mentor, take our Mentor quiz to find out!

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