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SAAGNY Mentoring Circles - Join Us!

February 04, 2022 10:30 AM | Donna-Jean Plante

Did you know that according to a recent LinkedIn Survey - 80% said having a mentor was important, but only 20% actually had a mentor at one point in their career?

SAAGNY is pleased to announce the launch of a new program, SAAGNY Mentoring Circles. Mentoring has always been a prominent, yet informal, aspect of what SAAGNY does, through networking events, committee participation and engagement, and our trade shows.  In light of how the Promotional Products industry has pivoted in the face of the COVID pandemic, SAAGNY has developed a more comprehensive mentoring framework that fits the needs of ALL of our Members during these changing times.

What Are Mentoring Circles?

Mentoring circles are a form of group mentoring that encourages participants from all employment levels of SAAGNY to propose and own a topic of interest. This unique setup gives members an avenue to grow within their profession to find or create a circle that motivates them. These circles can occur virtually or in person depending on the participants and Covid restrictions.

With the growth of Sheryl Sandberg’s lean-in philosophy and community meet ups, mentoring circles have become an increasingly popular way for individuals to grow within their profession. Leading a mentoring circle is a great way to grow as a leader because you learn and practice influencing and facilitation skills.

What Are the Benefits of Mentoring Circles?

With mentoring circles, participants can build more robust networks and connections they can turn to for support in new roles, projects, and future activities.  Participants can learn about various skills and tools that can help them grow in their current roles and advance within their career.  From management skills and customer relationship management best practices to handling customer conflict and ethics, mentoring circles can impart knowledge to participants through others’ experiences and lessons learned.

The group style of mentoring circles elevates accountability for all involved. This type of interaction builds trust between members, which allows them to come together in support of each other’s goals while seeking to achieve their own. It also relies on participants to show up and interact. This group commitment keeps members engaged.  These connections can create and build a more productive path to collaboration, and eventually greater innovation within the participants and industry.

Mentoring Goals

Everyone has their own but below are a few that SAAGNY will suggest for the mentoring circles.

  • ·        Leadership skills
  • ·        Confidence skills
  • ·        Public speaking/presentation skills
  • ·        Life/work balance
  • ·        Becoming a better manager/working with teams
  • ·        Career trajectories/next steps/5-year plans
  • ·        People skills
  • ·        Short-term and long-term goals 
  • ·        Accountability

Tell Me About SAAGNY Mentoring Circles.
Each SAAGNY Mentoring Circle will be comprised of 5-7 people, led by a single mentor matched with 4-6 mentees. The Mentoring Circle will become a small community, in which mentors and mentees will develop individual mentorship relationships and the Circle as a whole will function to address a larger need for community, connection, and professional development.
SAAGNY does not intend for groups to grow much larger, as participants speak up less and provide fewer individual contributions.

It is SAAGNY’s hope that there will be occasions where everyone in the program will gather together virtually and in-person, to allow cross-Circle interactions and leverage the knowledge-base and relationships of all our mentors. Mentoring circles will meet once every two months, or more frequently at the discretion of each Circle. In addition, mentors will be asked to have at least one one-on-one meeting with each of their mentees during each two-month period.

Mentoring circles allow industry colleagues to learn from one another in a supportive format, and also drive knowledge transfer and engagement. It’s a new spin on a long-valued learning technique. And whether groups want to come together to provide mutual support, build professional networks, or develop specific skills, SAAGNY’s mentoring circles program is a creative new addition to our member benefits.

Click here for the application.



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Fort Lee, NJ 07024

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