John McGrath, McGrath Real Estate Founder and Executive Director on the importance of goal-setting
McCarthy Mentoring is delighted to support food-tech start up Sprout Kitchens after they won the prize of our six-month mentoring program at Rabobank’s FoodBytes! Sydney pitch event in November.
Held as part of Rabobank’s Farm2Fork Summit, the FoodBytes! event saw eight finalists pitch their business idea on the main Summit stage to more than the 1000 delegates in attendance. The competition event brought together food and agri tech entrepreneurs alongside potential investors and industry thought leaders.
Sprout Kitchen’s kitchen-sharing platform finds cafés and kitchens with underutilised space to rent out to other food businesses looking for commercial kitchens.
Co-founders James Jordan and Caroline Aguesse will be working with McCarthy Mentoring mentor and digital strategist Kylie Little, Director, The Growth Business and founder of Essential Baby.
Arguably listening is the most important skill of a mentor. The research shows that this doesn’t just mean staying quiet, saying “mmm” and paraphrasing what the speaker said. Yes, this is all important but the best listener asks questions to gain a greater understanding and push the speaker to further articulate what they are saying.
This Harvard Business Review article discusses the qualities of the best listeners. The authors conclude by saying “we hope all will see that the highest and best form of listening comes in playing the same role for the other person that a trampoline plays for a child. It gives energy, acceleration, height and amplification.”
It plays the same role in mentoring.
Great event today hearing from Lisa Chung about her career and leadership roles at our Sydney Leaders Lunch. The room of board directors, CEOs and executive mentors and mentees all joined Lisa in a stimulating discussion on leadership and the key issues faced in their sector. The event follows the McCarthy Mentoring Newcastle and Brisbane Leaders Lunches in the past two months.
In our work we talk a lot about goal-setting. Why it matters. It’s place in career progression and gaining balance. Yet it’s all very well to talk about setting goals but where to start? How to articulate and prioritise the ones that really matter.
When I started at McCarthy Mentoring my boss handed me a bright orange set of cards the business uses to help clients set goals and asked me to use them to select and prioritise my own goals for the next 12 months. Frankly, on first impression, I wasn’t too sure about the idea. Yet as I went through each card I started to ask myself questions. Did ‘having a leadership role’ matter to me and where did it sit on my top 10 priorities for the year? Even tougher was the question, what strategies do I have to make that happen?
All of sudden I saw why they were so popular. These 60 cards with professional and personal goals – should I even be talking personal with my boss? – were clearly describing what I had struggled to articulate in the past. My challenge was that so many resonated. I started to think about why I was discarding some and retaining others.
I now see the magic of these cards for clients wrestling with what’s next. What’s important? How do I make that decision? It doesn’t matter if they are an engineer, lawyer or artistic director they all find it useful to have a structure to help them discuss their goals and ambitions with their mentors. It starts the process, helps them think more strategically about their career and lives and quickly takes both parties to the important conversations that make the difference.
Mentoring partners also like using the cards to create a framework for their sessions – identifying a goal each month and ensuring they have an action plan to achieve it. Others are encouraged to reflect back to see if they have changed over time.
I am now clear about my top 10 which I’m told means I’m 40% more likely to achieve them. With a mentor or someone to keep me accountable, that increases to 70%. That’s pretty good odds. I encourage you to give them a go.
Click here for further details or to purchase the McCarthy Mentoring one2one goal-setting cards.