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Creating a Community through Mirthful Mentorship – a discussion with Anne-Marie Imafidon

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Mentorship can be a valuable model of support for both the mentor and the mentee. No matter your field of expertise, building up the next generation is a vital piece of long-lasting success. Building a mentor program in your business or field has been a proven strategy for developing young leaders and effective employees.

No matter your field of expertise, building up the next generation is a vital piece of long-lasting success. Building a mentor program in your business or field has been a proven strategy for developing young leaders and effective employees.

Our latest guest on The Humourology Podcast is an expert in the field of mentoring. Anne-Marie Imafidon is the founder of STEMettes, an award-winning social enterprise which encourages young women to learn Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics beyond the classroom. For Imafidon, a bit of mindful mirth and connective comedy can work to create connections through mentorship.

“With mentoring, I think a sense of humour is helpful, but actually it’s only helpful if the person on the other end almost has the same sense of humour or has an overlapping sense of humour. Whereas when the humours don’t match for whatever reason, I think it does make it tougher to build that relationship.”

Anne-Marie knows that mentorship can play a pivotal role in the lives of young people. Especially those who are working in a space where they are the minority. For young women pursuing a career in STEM, finding a community of other supportive and successful women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is a vital step.

“It’s about them being able to not only celebrate but commiserate together. And I think that also then helps folks to know that it’s different if you feel like it’s just you that’s being treated that way. It’s one thing if you know that there’s a group of folks that are being treated that way and there’s that common theme or string or characteristic, then it does help you feel a little bit better. You do have folks to joke with, but you also have folks to work with to change these things, to evolve these things and to allow others to thrive in these spaces where they need to.”

Mentor programs like STEMettes provide young people with a safe space to deal with the difficulties that come with a challenging endeavour. Imafidon says that mentorship can help young people and those who mentor them build resilience to difficult situations in any industry.

“I think that there’s all those kinds of things that you end up doing to maintain that energy, to protect that energy, and also to diffuse it when, because like we said, there’s highs and lows to diffuse it. When terrible things do happen, I end up not being too reactionary to bad news because like we’re saying, it’s like, well, another day, another thing’s happened. If nothing bad happens, then maybe they’re not really doing much. And so, then you have to roll with it. And I think that’s another thing that’s really important in business because no customer is guaranteed. No supplier is guaranteed, no member of staff is guaranteed, no industry is guaranteed. And so, I think you have to do that also to stay sane.”

Join us this week on The Humourology Podcast to hear how humour and connection can help propel a mentorship program into a movement. Hear how Anne-Marie Imafidon and STEMettes utilise mentorship to support young women in their pursuit of the sciences while building resilience through a sense of humour. If you are looking to make a difference in the lives of young people or improve the performance of your new employees, Anne-Marie Imafidon has all the evidence you need to begin your experiment in fostering excellence only on The Humourology Podcast.

See you next Tuesday.

Warmest,

Paul x

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