Earl R. Smith II, PhD

(Read More From My Blog)

When I first started mentoring executives, the approach of most of my clients focused on the individual. I might be mentoring the CEO or one of the senior team - perhaps focusing on one of the rising stars or helping a struggling executive find their feet and a new way of relating. Things have changed a lot since those days. One of the biggest changes has been in the attitude towards team mentoring. Team mentoring is a more holistic approach to developing potential within a team. CEOs and Boards of Directors are willing to deploy resources to improve team performance and the results in many cases have been impressive.

Today’s competitive business world requires every individual in an organization provides his or her maximum contribution. Companies are realizing that the systematic development of employees is a good investment - one that generates high returns in the form of increased productivity, better teamwork, lower turnover and fewer intra-organizational crises. Now they are also realizing that the team that wins - not the individuals. Team coaching motivates individuals towards the team’s accomplishment of management goals. It enhances the relationship between the superiors and subordinates enabling the subordinates to understand what exactly their leader wants from them.

The team mentor imparts skills that include listening, questioning, clarifying and responding to situations in a focused and productive manner and so on. He must have the ability to understand the corporate environment, the challenges faced by it and its objectives.

As a team mentor, I have the ability to connect the management and the team I am mentoring. I assist in aligning the goal of organization and the individuals. My objective in many cases is to establish the culture of the team in a way that supports its cohesiveness and productivity. Sometimes that involves confronting management that is blocking team development. I often find myself bringing uncomfortable situations to a head by telling the truth to both the organization and the team members.

Team mentoring is crucial in communicating the vision, direction, strategies and ambitions of management to employees. It involves improving the understanding and commitment of people and this helps to accomplish desired results. It removes the obstacles caused by poor communication and lack of planning. It encourages feedback and idea sharing from team members. Team mentoring facilitates better and meaningful results. It improves work satisfaction and personal performance of the employees.

As a team mentor, I use a holistic approach and focus on the overall growth of the team. I mentor individual members on personal challenges and professional hurdles. I also focus on the team - the sense of identity and belonging - the sense of mission and purposefulness - that it so necessary for team success.

I always remember that my team mentoring is to individuals and group with the primary objective of improving team performance. I am mentoring the team in order to better attain the objectives of organization. My efforts focus on perfecting and then achieving the vision, mission and values of the company. I do this through a variety of approaches. The initial work tends to be through face-to-face coaching to team members. Once these sessions are completed, my attention shifts to group work and building a better team identity. I also work with corporate management - clearing the way for team development and growth. In a very meaningful sense, I am mentoring is the whole organization for long-term benefits. I need to understand the corporate culture and then combine team coaching and executive coaching to help improve team performance.

Effective team mentoring brings many benefits. The company can see immediate developments and results in key areas like communication, productivity and attitude of team members. Overall performance improves. Morale increases, as does the dedication to achieving goals and contributing.

Team mentoring is an important component of a proactive architecture for the success for any organization. Through it, management can improve performance and increase the professional and personal happiness of its employees. It enables individuals and the team to acquire skills that are essential for success. It helps reinforce your professional foundation and to unlocks hidden potential.

Team mentoring helps team members deal more effectively with changes. Changes are essential for the success of any business. Mentoring motivates multilevel decision-making and emphasizes on the unique potential of individuals within teams to optimize their overall performance and, by doing that, optimize the team’s performance. Team mentoring provides a common platform for organizational evolution and the emergence of a powerful corporate environment. It raises self-awareness and self-confidence and improves staff retention by increasing their motivation.

Organization are composed of individuals but often it is team performance that really matters. Mentoring needs to be a collaborative process, and must spotlight on the development of the team as well as the individuals. It lets the team members make use of new opportunities for their own success as well as that of the organization. Mentoring is an efficient management tool to focus on the future.

If you want to learn more about my team mentoring approach, send me an e-mail and we will arrange a time to talk.

© Earl R. Smith II, PhD

I look back on the first three months of my work with Dr. Smith with wonder. My journal reflects a journey of self-discovery so vast that I hardly recognize the person who wrote the first entries. It's been a year now and I am happier now than I have ever been.

PJ, Mentoring Client

"It's the most amazing experience I have ever had. I needed to find a new path. A friend recommended Dr. Smith. What was most amazing was the wisdom and perception that he brought. New vistas have opened up and, as a result, a new chapter in my life. There's no way that I could put a value on what he has contributed to my life."

Mentoring Client, CEO and Serial Entrepreneur

"Chief - that's how Dr.Smith was introduced to me and, based on our work together, I have come to understand why - helped me focus on the possibilities that I had been missing in my life. He guided through developing a new vision for my life. My life is richer because of working with him."

Mentoring Client

"Earl is a wise mentor with lots of experience. He has a great way of explaining things and getting you to look at them from another perspective. Dr. Smith is a tough mentor, but, if you can learn just some of what he knows, your life will change forever."

Mentoring Client, Deloitte

“Dr. Smith is a very different kind of mentor. If you’re looking for a warm and fuzzy adviser, this is the wrong guy for you. But if you are dedicated to change and want to be challenged by a very experienced mentor Earl may be just what you are looking for.”

CEO of Croix Connect and Host of ABC Radio’s ‘Taking Care of Business’

“Dr. Smith's mentorship has been of great value and inspiration to my personal and professional development. I felt the need to take a new direction. He helped me sort out the possibilities and showed me ones that I never considered. Working with him has been a truly life-changing experience.”

Partner, IT & Telecom, Defense Solutions