What’s Your Workplace MO?

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The Power of Mentorship

February 10, 2020



Megan:                            00:01                  Hi there. It's Megan with what's your MO in Healthcare? Today we're going to talk about the power of mentorship. There's something really powerful about having a mentor. Someone who cares about you and wants you to succeed. Someone who teaches you what they know and empowers you to go after your dreams. That person for me is Dorcas. Not only has she been my mentor, she's a great friend. I'd worked with her for more than 10 years in the healthcare field without ever really understanding or appreciating what she did professionally. She was the Director of Quality at the hospital I currently work at until she retired in 2015 but she got her nursing degree in the 1970s when nurses still wore white hats in a white uniform and white hose with the seams in the back and they had to stand up when the doctor entered the room.

Megan:                            01:00                  They were different times, but she's always been a fierce Red personality, motivated by power,. So she struggled with living the stereotype of the nurturing passive nurse. That just was not her thing. Dorcas is fiercely independent, opinionated. She's super sharp and does not suffer fools. She once told me she had to be a Red growing up as a tomboy in the 1950s when she was living in an upper middle class suburb of Bellevue, Washington, with a name like Dorcas. She said she had to be a Red to survive that. I love her because she has evolved into an authentic woman through self-work and self-awareness. Much of that self-awareness came about because of her training in Color Code. She mentored me to become a certified Color Code trainer and I learned so much from her and from Jeremy Daniels with Color Code.

Megan:                            02:02                  I remember going to salt Lake City for Color Code training with Dorcas and being met by Jeremy. I was so excited that I was getting trained by the son-in -aw of the founder of Color Code, Taylor Hartman. Now Jeremy is a strong Yellow, so he really lived up to the Yellows' motivation to have fun. He took us to his father in law's beautiful home in the hills of Salt Lake with a view overlooking the city. We trained, we did our work. We laughed and we learned. Then he took us to Park City, Utah for lunch. After lunch, we had the opportunity to tour the museum there. I was interested in learning about the area, the history, and there was a connection to Robert Redford and Park City, so I was interested in learning about that. I was enjoying reading and viewing the exhibits, but after just 10 minutes at the museum, Dorcas came up to me to announce she had finished and she was done.

Megan:                            03:01                  I was shocked. Really? How could she possibly look at everything in 10 minutes? Should I be done now too? Just because she is, do I need to hurry because she doesn't want to wait? Is she really that impatient? Well, the answer is yes. She is 94% red. Reds are inpatient, so a 94% red is really impatient. They do not need to spend a lot of time studying things in detail. They get the general idea about 51% of the facts on the exhibit and that's good. That's enough. Since that time in Utah with her in 2010, our friendship and mentoring relationship has grown. We never really formally entered into an agreement as mentor and mentee, but it evolved and it also evolved into a friendship as part of that relationship through our honesty and sharing our strengths and limitations. As a strong professional woman working in healthcare, I learned from her stories and her life experiences.

Megan:                            04:06                  I shared my most personal stories with her as a good Blue personality does. I don't think that always made her very comfortable because Reds are not typically real comfortable listening to emotional stories but she knew when to ask if I wanted advice and didn't try to solve problems. When she did speak, she was a straight shooter. She told me things I didn't always like to hear but I needed to hear them. Now that she's retired, I don't see her every day, but we always make time to get together a priority. She is still a straight shooter, but she is also very encouraging. Her logic and practical mind tempers my anxieties and concerns. I always walk away with a plan of action because she cuts through all of my angst and my worries and suggests very practical next steps when I share my goals and any perceived barriers that I have. She thoughtfully listens but doesn't let me get away with whining or feeling discouraged.

Megan:                            05:10                  I feel very fortunate to have someone who can coach me the way Dorcas does because she knows my MO is to create strong relationships and to build those strong relationships and intimacy with people. So let me ask you this. Do you have a Dorcas in your life? I'd love to hear about a mentor who helped you in your career or in life in general. What did you learn from them? Was it a formal mentor, mentee relationship, or did it just happen? Send your comments to [email protected] I love to hear all about your stories of your great mentors and we can share them on future podcasts. So with that, this is Megan with What's your MO in healthcare?