Ankrom Moisan takes our Hows very seriously. Our Hows are the values by which we work and play. This post explores Share Openly and is one of a six-part series that touches on our Hows and the way they come to life at AM. Stay tuned for future blog posts revealing more about AM’s Hows.
At Ankrom Moisan we highly value and prioritize mentoring relationships to share skills, create career growth and nurture our culture. Over the course of testing and establishing a mentorship program the past two-years, the most successful and beneficial mentorships embody leading and learning between both individuals. When a mentorship relationship is established without dedicated “mentor/mentee” roles, both individuals can remain receptive, which allows for open communication and knowledge sharing resulting in everyone’s growth.
Roberta Pennington, Senior Associate Interior Designer at Ankrom Moisan, has this to say about her experience with mentorship:
“My mentorship team consists of two people who are not related to my area of practice. With their neutral view, I was able to see my contributions to the team and the firm out of context. Our conversations helped me to better understand what role I want to pursue and, even better, redefine the roles that were available.
Apart from the professional advice, it’s reassuring to see my colleagues are human and have similar stressors related to family and health. My mentors/mentees helped me to manage expectations around being healthy and successfully performing my job.
We still meet quarterly despite each of our respective busy schedules. I love this commitment we made. It’s attainable and shows we care about the other’s well-being.”
The following tips support this method of mentorship:
Be Open to Vulnerability:
When genuinely connecting with one another, it can feel truly vulnerable to share openly about the successes and ever so humbling lessons being learned at any given time. We’re putting ourselves out there when we invite another to problem solve with us, while knowing that we each bring something to the solution, and that neither person needs to have all the answers to every question. When we meet with a professional outside of our department, or when we invite guest speakers to address goals beyond our scope or abilities, we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, which opens us up to further mutual growth and connection.
Value the Mutual Commitment:
Showing up is a first step, but a commitment to the mentorship also means being prepared to answer questions and share experiences mutually. Respecting one another’s time is also integral to the mentorship. To do so create recurring meetings in advance, honor this reserved time, and communicate clearly when you need to reschedule.
Determine where the mentorship will take place, and for how long. Within the mutually agreed-upon boundaries, share your interests, strengths, and weaknesses with each other. Conversations that encompass these vulnerable topics can foster an environment in which you can better establish goals and review them together. Thereby offering opportunities to both shore each other up and hold one another accountable. Create a road map of topics you will discuss, along with activities to share as learning experiences.
Sharing openly leaves room to take initiative to lead the conversation and actively listen. Have meaningful questions prepared so you can uncover the insight you are looking to gather. Don’t be afraid to dig deep and listen with intent! Unexpected jewels can be uncovered when the right questions are asked.
Take the time to discuss what you have learned from each other, and express gratitude for the time invested in you. When the opportunity arises, speak positively of each other to others. When gratitude is expressed the positive effects ripple outward. And don’t forget to celebrate achievements together!
Using this method of mentorship at Ankrom Moisan has made the workplace a welcoming environment. Every member of the team has talents and skills to be shared and can create a stronger connection. Growth is achieved at a rapid rate with mutual respect and understanding!
by Kaci Mespelt, Interior Designer, and
Roberta Pennington, Senior Associate Interior Designer
📸: Cheryl Mcintosh, featured image
Living Our Hows (4 of 6): Client Trust
Ankrom Moisan takes our Hows very seriously. Our Hows are the values by which we work and play. This post explores Trust and is one of a six-part series that touches on our Hows and the way they come to life at AM. Stay tuned for future blog posts revealing more about AM’s Hows.
At AM, we are proud that most of our clients are return customers. Or, they have been referred to us by a happy customer. Clients come to us after the market has changed or their businesses have evolved – and, right now, whose hasn’t? It’s humbling when someone reaches out to us for help – and, to honor this, we ground our relationships in TRUST.
Client relationships based in trust allow both parties to be a bit vulnerable. They allow us to dig deeper when strategizing to get to the heart of the matter. These in-depth and intimate conversations uncover the key drivers of a project and are used to craft spaces that truly resonate. Client trust gives us the freedom to go beyond our “first good idea” and offer more avenues to consider.
Clients who believe they are being led by a dependable team, feel at ease with the process of a project. At AM, it is our teams’ responsibility to create this sense of ease by sharing our experience, mentoring each other, and staying curious by researching contemporary trends within our industries. Our expertise resides in several market sectors – from workplace to housing to hospitality – and this cross-discipline perspective allows us to see synergies between markets. Design strategies for one project type are informed by the insights of another – creating the multi-dimensional experience that so many are seeking in today’s market.
Central to creating trust with anyone is consistency. At AM, we strive to create a customer experience that is enjoyable for everyone; we do our best to be approachable and available to our clients, to be enthusiastic and reliable, honest, and genuine. It is a part of our DNA to work from this perspective and it allows clients to create their own journeys – trusting that we are here as guides during the process.
by Laura Serecin