About a 2 min. read.
At CMB, mentorship and collaboration are key aspects of our company culture. There are many ways in which positive, strong mentor/mentee relationships improve our emotional wellbeing and professional and personal development. One such example being its pivotal role in honing storytelling abilities – an important skill for all market researchers. Here’s how having a mentor can significantly contribute to enhancing storytelling skills:
Mentors provide an important outside perspective. Sometimes it’s easier for someone less familiar with a project or deliverable to see areas that need clarification – if something doesn’t make sense to them, it might not make sense for the client either – and/or cutting. It’s easy once you’re “in the weeds” to lose sight of the bigger picture, get too attached to our word selection, forget key information, and/or make a simple spelling or grammatical error. Catching these blind spots before delivery leads to a stronger final product for our clients and greater success in the mentee’s career.
At CMB, we have a strong mentor program for Insights Associates (and anyone else who’d like a formal mentor). As part of their onboarding, each Insight Associate is assigned a mentor. In this capacity, mentors assist in maintaining the high standards we hold for deliverables. We’d be hard pressed to accomplish high-quality deliverables without editing, and mentors can provide hands-on guidance in refining narratives, headlines, and key findings, ultimately elevating a story’s effectiveness and thus its impact.
Similarly, in the mentor-mentee relationship, each person brings their unique life experiences, professional backgrounds, perspectives, and interests to the table that one another can learn from. Mentors, in particular, bring a wealth of experience in delivering impactful deliverables and activating insights at world leading brands. Ensuring that the insights resonate with a broader audience is key to impactful storytelling, whether that audience is a detailed-oriented researcher or a high-level C-Suite executive. Mentors can help mentees learn how to become a more flexible communicator with a business mindset.
Additionally, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is a critical topic in the market research industry. To provide insights that make a difference, our insights need to be inclusive of the diverse set of people whose voices need to be heard by the C-Suite. Representation is a key component to making that happen. The more diversity the market research has (gender, age, tenure, race, ethnicity, neurodiversity, etc.), the better our insights will be. Developing strong mentor-mentee relationships is just one avenue for expanding our collective knowledge, mitigating our personal blind spots, and connecting with those who might be different than us. For example, if an organization is seeking to understand the Gen Z buyer, a mentor would benefit from talking with their younger colleagues to produce a more textural, authentic deliverable.
Mentorship fosters collaboration and a sense of belonging, which is central to CMB’s company culture. It encourages open communication and trust, building an environment where ideas can be freely shared and refined. Especially for employees early in their career, which is another reason why CMB has built its mentor program for Insights Associates the way that we have; the mentor provides an immediate connection to their new community.
Further, mentors serve those early in their career or new to the industry as a trusted resource with whom they can turn to without fear of looking bad to their manager. Creating a report can be overwhelming – how do you get from all this data to a compelling deliverable? Beyond asking for an outside perspective and advice, simply observing a mentor’s storytelling techniques throughout the reporting process allows mentees to emulate successful strategies. As they learn and grow as researchers, mentees can adapt and iterate these strategies into their own style.
While observing or shadowing others can be very helpful, a great benefit to mentorship is that it can also provide hands-on learning opportunities. Mentees are often able to give something a try and receive actionable feedback, accelerating their growth and skill development.
In market research, where compelling storytelling drives decision-making and engagement, mentorship can be a catalyst for professionals aiming to enhance their storytelling abilities. If you’re struggling to upskill your company’s storytelling abilities, consider evaluating the role of mentorship. Mentors are a key part of CMB’s culture and employee development. If you’re excited about how CMB can deliver impactful deliverables embedded with rich stories, reach out to us today. We’d be honored to partner with you. If you’re interested in learning more about our culture, please check out our Careers page and/or apply to one of our open positions.