Australia Day 2

The second day of every Global Ambassadors Program is when participants roll up their sleeves to begin the real work of the mentoring week. Interactive trainings in communications and strategic planning set the stage for the open communication and collaboration needed for working together effectively.

“When I was 12 I experienced my first rejection. I tried out for a basketball team and didn’t make it. But I thought I was a female Michael Jordan.”

This was the ‘attention-getter’ opening line that mentee Kia Dowell practiced during Allison Shapira’s public speaking workshop designed to build participants’ confidence and comfort when speaking to a variety of audiences. It was the first technical training session of the week, and after learning some basic principles, participants set to work writing a speech in seven minutes, delivering it in three and then receiving a critique from the rest of the group. For Kia, the training came at the perfect time – in two weeks’ time she’ll be giving a talk at TEDx Perth – and the opening, delivery and breathing exercises will help in her preparation for such a high visibility event.

“What is the problem and solution you’re addressing and what does it look like when you’ve achieved your goal?”

Strategic planning trainer Kathleen Holland walked participants through a mission and vision exercise, useful for mentees who are so busy running their organizations that they rarely have the chance to step back and address the fundamentals of why they do the work they do. It was an important grounding exercise for mentees taking their businesses and organizations in new directions, and it opened up a lively discussion on rallying teams around core values.

Strategic planning trainer Kathleen Holland

“In the beginning, we had 10,000 values,” said mentee Ronna Pastorizo-Sekiguchi, founder of a creative agency in Fiji. “The team voted on three. We discussed why and how we could embody them as a company. When engaging with new clients or making any decisions, we ask the questions – ‘Are we being honest? Are we being enthusiastic? ‘Are we being determined?’” 

Global Ambassador Stacey Kelly Egide, a pioneer in the natural personal care product industry and founder and CEO of Andalou Naturals, talked about the importance of values in fostering employee morale. “We have a lot of fun with it,” she says. “And our friends at Seventh Generation reinforce theirs in every aspect of their organization. Their values appear on bathroom walls and there’s a points system for awarding employees who engage in activities that embody the company’s values.”

Social media expert Karla Ruiz Confiño wowed participants with a presentation on the power of connecting people through technology – and developing “collective intelligence” as a means to crowdsource global progress. She shared simple ways to use digital tools to become active and engaged contributors to online communities with offline impact – brand ambassadors for their businesses and organizations, and champions for positive social change.  

Social media trainer Karla Ruiz Confiño

“Are the rules fair? Is there a business case to change rules? If yes, then you have a platform to move from and make change.”

Global Ambassador and gender and economics expert, Amanda Ellis, offered critical insights during a new feature of the Global Ambassadors Program – a lunchtime conversation where mentors have the opportunity to engage in peer mentoring. They submit anonymous questions to their fellow Global Ambassadors – questions they’ve always wanted to ask other senior women at their level but haven’t had the chance to do. It opens up a fascinating dialogue about a range of issues, including work-life balance, getting onto influential boards, dealing with failure, supporting other women, and knowing when to take your career in a new direction.

Mentee Linh Nguyen of Vietnam and Global Ambassador Joanna Doolan of New Zealand

After the day’s training sessions concluded, mentors and mentees settled in to their first one-on-one mentoring session, setting goals for the week and mapping out how they’ll tackle key business and organizational challenges they face back home. 

Mentee Moale Vagikapi of Papua New Guinea and Global Ambassador Adi Tafuna’i of Samoa

Follow #GlobalAmbassadors on Twitter for updates and join the conversation here and on Facebook and Instagram as we work through the week.