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Feb. 24, 2022

Finding your Superpowers and Creating a Culture of Connection

Today Laura is having a conversation with Lauren Sweeny. Lauren is an activator and a creative thinker with a heart for public service. Disciplined, coachable, and goal-oriented, she is driven by challenges and has a passion for leadership developmen...

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Today Laura is having a conversation with Lauren Sweeny. Lauren is an activator and a creative thinker with a heart for public service. Disciplined, coachable, and goal-oriented, she is driven by challenges and has a passion for leadership development and collaboration. She has advanced coaching certifications from the Direct Sales World Alliance (DSWA) along with a Bachelor of Science in Community and Regional Development from UC Davis

More recently, as the Vice President of Rise Up For You, she has coached, trained, and worked with multiple Fortune 500 companies around the world on human skills needed for future success.

Lauren thrives on mentoring via asking questions, actively listening, and being a positive example of what she teaches.



Contact Lauren: lauren@riseupforyou.com

Website: https://www.riseupforyou.com/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/laurenbydesign1/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/laurensweeneymk

YT: https://www.youtube.com/c/RISEUPFORYOU

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lmsweeney/


Check Out My Website: https://www.ratracereboot.com/

Connect With Laura at: https://www.stretchintosuccess.com/ratracereboot/


Watch/Listen to the Show on:

Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoc1sIm3AlUCrmcaFyZaFbw

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RatRaceReboot

Podbean: https://infogtu.podbean.com/










people, conversations, person, organization, lauren, rise, culture, confidence, company, titles, soft skills, podcast, sweeney, laura, create, shift, achieve, talking, emotional intelligence, work



All right, everybody. Welcome to rat race reboot. I am so excited today to welcome our guest Lauren Sweeney to the show, and she's the vice president of rise up for you. She's coached numerous people, women around the world multiple fortune 500 companies, and I'm excited to get into conversation with her.


The following was recorded in front of a live studio audience at the studio 21 podcast cafe. This is the United Podcast Network.


Welcome to rat race reboot. I'm your host, Laura Noel. And as a certified coach and former 27 year military leader. Each week, I provide bite sized mindset pivots that will help you reset your mind reawaken your spirit and regain your control. Hello, hello, and good morning everyone. Today again, I am excited to welcome Lauren Sweeney to the show. And I wanted to read a couple of lines here from her bio, she has so much wonderful goodness in there. She's an amazing human. And I had the opportunity to guest on her show, which was a wonderful conversation. So we can link it in the notes as well. But I love this Lauren Sweeney is an activator and a creative thinker. And I love that she has a heart for public service, which is so amazing discipline coachable, goal oriented. She's driven by challenges and has a passion for leadership development and collaboration, which I think we can use more of that in the world. Lauren has spoken for 1000s of people on confidence, personal leadership, women in the workplace and more. And she has been featured on multiple podcast, shout la magazine and recognized in a number of California Chamber magazines. She's spoken on HR education, women leadership conferences throughout the US, and she's having an impact all over the world. So Lauren, once again, welcome to the show. Thank you so much excited to be here, Laura. Well, I'm excited to have you and I'm excited to share with our listeners, as you know, rat race reboot is all about helping people reset their minds, their thinking, connect with their higher purpose in life. And so they can regain control in their life and their situations and their work situations, personal lives, whatever that may be. And I was really intrigued by the work you're doing. So what I would love is maybe for you to share with our audience a little bit about you, where you've come from and where you are in your journey today. I love that. Well, I'm excited to be here with you all. I live in California. And I have two little kids six and nine years old. And before I worked for rise up for you, which is an education, we do emotional intelligence and leadership training around the globe. Before I worked for them, I own my own company for 17 years. And so I coached women, and we sold cosmetics. And it was an incredible industry to learn those leadership, those confidence skills, and to see them in real time. And I can talk later today as well about kind of the rug poll that I think a lot of us, especially women, but all genders experienced at some point in our career of trying to climb a ladder. And that led me to working for rise up for you and kind of doing the inner work that now I do with our clients. Oh my gosh, that's so wonderful. And I definitely am interested in I know our audiences too. What was that rug poll moment for you what really helped you make that transition? So I was in my career, and there was this there was this carrot. And you're you listening or watching us live today, you may have that right, this something this goal you just have to achieve. And everyone around me thought we have to you have to achieve it. Once you achieve it, you will achieve the company car, the bonus, the status, the prestige, all of it. And so I thought at all costs, I have to achieve that. I mean, you just have to write Laura. It's just like you have to achieve it. Right. That's an expectation. It's an expectation, something I wanted to do. So I climb the career ladder working so hard to achieve it. And one day I do. I finally reach that title, that promotion. And I'm like, Oh, I get the car. I get the bonus. I get everything that was promised. But Laura, the rug bowl is I thought that I would finally feel good enough once I had achieved it. Yeah. And that did not occur. And I couldn't see that. You know, it's it's that sane of like, you can't see the label when you're inside the jar. Yeah. People would tell me that. Oh, you're so driven. What's the Big deal. It's just a promotion. Yet I couldn't, I couldn't see it until the rug was pulled. And I saw, I thought when I achieve that level of success, and I get that prestige, and people know who I am, then I'll feel good enough, and it will all have been worth it.


Wow. And so what what was it that you had this moment where it was just a big aha, and you just figured, wow, I'm here, I did all of the things I was doing what I was supposed to be doing what I thought I should be doing, or what you know, moving in the direction that align with what I thought was my expectations of myself or the organizational expectations of everyone else. So what was it for you when when you were in that moment? That really shifted thing you had that? Aha, where I'm here, okay, now what, what, where's the where's the confetti? And and all of that, what did you do next? Well, that's when I started working with Netta, who's our CEO it raise it for you and did coaching with her. And we talked about this idea of macro micro confidence. And pretty much you know, you and I are in the United States, we have listeners all across the globe. But in the United States, especially, we're really taught who we are is our titles and our skills. Hi, I'm Lauren, nice to meet you. What do you do? Instead of like, Who are you Are any of that. And a lot of the countries maybe Scandinavian regions, it's it's even documented, there's a World Happiness Report. And in the US, we don't rank very high. Because we really don't treat people as the whole person. It's all about our career. I mean, that's like, all in our titles. And, and when we don't have those titles, we feel like, Oh, who am I? Yeah. And so that's when I started working on it. And the macro confidence, the micro confidence is our titles and our skills, which like, you know, I have a college degree, I have titles and skills, yes. But that doesn't really sustain us. And they can go up and down. The macro confidence is who we really are. So I'm a tenacious, creative, caring, incredible woman. And I was that when I was a little kid, and your superpowers, Laura, and everyone listening, those superpowers you had when you were probably five years old, you have them now as an adult. And that's the cool thing is those don't really go away. And so as I shift to understand, and I feel like it's a process, I don't think I really arrived. Right? As I shift to understand that who I am is really those superpowers. I identify with myself as those, it's so much easier than to go, okay, whatever it is that I'm achieving career wise, not that I don't like to achieve things. But it's not who am I, you know, I love that. And similarly, I had an experience when I also transitioned and rose to the ranks in the upper echelons of my work. And I was like, I should be happy, I'm achieving all of these goals and the things and we sound very similar, were from the outside looking in. It was like, wow, that's really impressive. But I thought, Ah, this next mountain, then I'll feel happy or, alright, well, I'll climb another one. And it just never happened. And you know, what I experienced too. And it sounds like you did as well. And a lot of people we've talked to, is we're looking outside of ourselves for the answers and that validation. And it's inside of us. And I love that you brought up the superpowers that we have. And we've had since we were children, I mean, we're, our minds are little sponges, when we're growing up, and we're taking in the world around us. And we, we don't have those concerns about our titles, or all these things. All of these concerns are manmade, really. And if we can adopt and get connected with who we truly are on a deeper level, and you're saying a macro level, then it it can shape and shift our world. And we can really step into our fullest potential. And I love that. I love that story. Exactly. And so that led me to doing my own inner work and then wanting to work for this company called dries up for you. And so here I am doing this work and having the privilege to work on this with others, executives, leaders, entrepreneurs, building those soft skills, and at the core remembering who I really am.


I love that and I know that you're helping so many people. It's one of those pieces that I think is missing in in corporate and trainings because we want to kind of get to the root of But like, what's your title? What do you know? What's the goal? What are the targets? What are the KPIs, and let's move. But really, it's the people who are accomplishing the mission. And it makes sense to, to focus on the people and help them have these aha eyes for themselves. Because it's, it's just going to help the team function a lot better. So, I would love to hear about the work you're doing with rise up for you and take us through a little bit of a journey in terms of how you help these organizations and these teams. Yeah, so I love the soft skill development. It's, you know, we are in 2022 now, and in 2021, you know, a lot of things happened, including the Great resignation, where a lot of people were thinking, you know, this is not, it's all cracked up to be, and they're looking for culture. And one of the books I'm I, I'm reading right now, it's from Gallup Strength Finders, you've heard of them. Great, great organization. And it's called, it's the manager moving from boss to coach. And that's a lot of what we do it rise up for you is, people are craving being coached versus being managed. They're craving conversation, especially certain generations. So like I'm on, I just made it to being a millennial. And there people are craving those conversations of how are you doing? What do you need? What's working here? What's not working? How can we have collaboration? How can we be creative? What works best for you with your life? And do you want to be in a hybrid work environment, like all those things, people are not looking for a once a year performance review, they're looking for ongoing quarterly conversations at at a minimum. And so that's what we help companies do is look at their culture, from the inside out and the outside in and do emotional intelligence assessments that help them understand from a 360 degree perspective, what is happening? How do I use our values? And what's important to us to hire? How do I put our values in a key statement and hiring? And then what is the onboarding look like? And how, again, our values and our culture and fused, then what is the ongoing development process? What does our mentor map look like? Most things that especially small and medium sized businesses that are really working on the business in the business all the time, and don't often have a chance to step and have a bird's eye view of their business. That is so valuable. And you know, and even from the perspective of bringing the right people into the organization, I you know, I was doing some work with an organization and their job description process, and I started asking them kind of, well, what core competencies are you looking for in people? And how does that inform your training? And how does that inform your their development path and the skills you can teach? I mean, of course, you want the requisite skills, but if a person that their values don't align, or they or they choose not to align their values with those of the company, wouldn't it be great to know that? So I think that's so valuable. And it's so it's so important, people just want to get to it, right? But having these things ironed out and thought through. It's it's a tremendous, you know, night and day between when an organization doesn't do that, and one does. Do you have any stories that you'd like to share of? Like, kind of like a before and after? And how things have shifted?



Yeah, absolutely. So one of the companies we work with, they're in the finance industry. And before we came to work with them, they hadn't done performance reviews, in maybe two, three years, people didn't really know where they were at with their profit sharing. There were some key missing ingredients in the culture, there wasn't a lot of intention in the culture, kind of treading water. And granted, we met them during COVID. So it's just a lot right. Now, fast forward to a little bit over a year later working with them. Quarterly, they have set performance reviews, they have a mentor map so that people know who they're mentoring, like even just down to that, and then how they're being mentored. How are they being coached and trained? What does Brenda need versus Paul need something else? What does that even look like? And how are they providing that for them? Having conversations and being really clear on the culture, I like to think about it like a ship. You're turning the ship's rudder, right? And it takes a lot of energy to turn the direction of the ship. But you at least have a target you at least have a direction we know We're going to the Bahamas, on the ship, um, you know, hypothetically right? We know where we're going. And that creates such a sense of hopefulness of, I don't even know if peace is the right word. I feel like I feel peaceful as an individual, but as a company culture, knowing where we're going, hiring with those value statements in mind, so that you keep people longer, and you know, if they're a good fit, doing not just those hard skills, right, so if you're a finance company, a tech company, whatever industry you happen to be in, there's obviously certain skills people need. But adding in that piece of that those soft skills makes such a difference. I have a great story for you, our CEO, Netta, she used to work, she used to be an executive at a company before she started rise up for you. And when she would hire, sometimes this was pre COVID. And we didn't hire on zoom right in person. And she would often pretend that she was like, you know, somebody just cleaning the lobby. And she would come and just to kind of sweep, maybe empty the trash. And notice how the candidate who was sitting in the lobby waiting to talk to her would interact with her? How would how were their soft skills? How are their people skills, how did they treat her they didn't know she was the executive, right? And then they would come back to her office and kind of be shocked that she was the executive, but it would speak to like their character right? Now you treat people and one way is how you treat people, hopefully 360. So it's amazing to watch, in particular, circling back to this tech company, we've worked with the dedication to the mission and the culture, and is in, it's so inspiring, to see the shift and to have people bought into a vision that they created, you know, you support what you create.


Yeah, and what I love is, you know, in the midst of this great resignation, people, if they're not getting what they want, or they don't feel like they have a culture with psychological safety, or a place where they can grow, they're gonna leave. And so having these conversations, it's so important. And I love that story, about observing somebody a candidate in in the waiting area, and seeing how they interact with people. Because, you know, it's interesting, I, you know, as a coach, and I know that you're always developing yourself to it, I continue to get coached, and I continue to learn and grow. And that's an important part of, of my journey as somebody who owns her own company, right, it's and I want people to continue learning and growing, because as you mentioned earlier, we don't know at all, we're constantly peeling back layers of the onion and getting a deeper understanding of ourselves. And when we can do that we understand other people much better where that where they might be coming from. And it's, it's interesting, because it's so in alignment with a training class that I was in this week, for two days in the DC area, and it was called outward mindset, which is what you're describing here. And, you know, how we can see people as either vehicles to get us somewhere else, as obstacles of like things getting in our way, or as irrelevant. And it's surprising if you really take stock and think about every situation you're in, like, when you sit in the Uber car, are you immediately going to your cell phone, or you like putting the blinders on? Are you is this person just a vehicle or irrelevant to you? Or are you engaging with that person? And I, you know, reading Thomas tro word, it's called is one of his essays, it's called entering into the spirit of it, it really hit me after going to this training, and then getting an Uber ride to the airport. And I had done my my daily study in the morning reading this, entering into the spirit of it. And this one paragraph, I took a picture of it. I wanted to do a post on it. But it talks about this vivifying action between you and the person or the the activity that you're engaging in and how when you it adopts this kind of livingness when you engage and you you vivify that person and then they kind of in turn, fill you up. And so when I was in the Uber car, I met this wonderful gentleman from Nepal, and he was sharing about his family and his upbringing and we were talking about yoga and philosophy. It was just such a heart warming conversation, and I felt seen I know he felt seen and it he felt appreciated. I sure did. But you know, we're we're out and about doing the thing. in our lives that we're ordinarily doing, it doesn't take more time to engage and connect with people. But the impact that it can have in an organization, which is what you are describing in everyday life is remarkable. Absolutely, yes. I love that story. I could almost feel my hyper achiever getting nervous as you're talking about it, as I'm thinking, Well, yeah, I'm gonna get that Hooper and I'm gonna get on my phone and be productive, right? And so connection first over telling kind of that sabotaging the hyper achiever. It's okay, just relax. Take this time and connect right now. For example, with an Uber driver. Yeah, well, yeah. And we forget to do that in our organizations, too. Sometimes I find that I get so busy because I'm that type a person. And I'm, I'm passing on some tasks to my team. But I'm thinking I'm too busy to engage. No, this is important, like understanding what people's hopes and dreams are, what, what their challenges are, how might I be getting in their way to achieve some of their goals, and it requires exactly the work, the wonderful work that you're doing with helping people bridge that gap. And so it's so important. My hat's off to you.


Thank you. Yes, as we're talking about connecting with people, we have this happening in our organization, recently, I got some feedback that I was like too driven, too focused on, you know, the task, and one of our team members felt like unimportant unheard. And what's so great is we have a culture of communication. And so I noticed that sometimes I will be in this is that self awareness and the EQ piece be so in a mode of getting something done, that I miss, actually being direct with the person and I'll just deflect by being busy. So I love that emotional intelligence work to notice, okay, what's going on? What's my self awareness? That how do I manage it, so that I can have awareness of what's going on around me and pick up on somebody else's nonverbal cues? Yeah, I, you know, we can all get caught up in it. And I remember, I was at a personal development seminar, and we were doing an exercise where we were offering instructions to people, we all took turns, and we were guiding a team of other women. And so I would have people do this work over here, and then I would leave, and then I would get people set up over here. And I was kind of making rounds and like checking in with people. And a lot of people they felt like they were cared for. But then there was one person who said, I felt abandoned. And I was like, oh, because sometimes we think we're helping people. But we're, we're helping from our little air quotes. We're helping from our own perspective. And so these conversations that you're helping facilitate, people can get to know what is helping, what do you need help with? Let me help you. And we're not helping the person, in fact, at all, but having these conversations, you know, how, how may I help you? How can I help you? How have I been hindering your, your forward momentum? Let's have a conversation about that, what's what's helpful for you, that in and of itself is, is it's huge. And, you know, also you'd mentioned how sometimes we can get busy, and we can get focused on the task. Instead of focusing on that development that person might need, I think, the biggest gift when we take the time for the people on our team, to, to educate and to fill with great, meaningful feedback, that is such a huge gift, that you're not treating that person as, you know, an obstacle or Oh, I gotta stop what I'm doing to give them this. You know, I, I was talking with another coach who was going to watch me facilitate, and he's like, be prepared, because you're going to have like, 20 pages of notes. I'm going to be looking at like you said, this here and here. And I'm like, Oh, my gosh, somebody's as busy as this person. What a gift. I'm not going to waste that. And so when we pour into each other, the the payback and the the dividends, right, it's, it's incredible. Absolutely. I think one of the things that we have to bring intentionally to our organizations right now, is those conversations that also don't have anything to do with the job at hand. Because we used to most most companies we're working with, and especially in the United States, in the UK, even Canada, and all over the globe. We're mostly not all back in the office together. And so we used to have those conversations that were coming casual where I'm getting my Nespresso coffee, and you're talking to me while you're getting your lemon water or whatever it is. And we had those kind of casual conversations of getting to know each other of you know, caring about each other outside of the office environment. And we mostly don't have that at all or very limited. And so how can we create that even if we're in a hybrid or totally remote environment? How can we bring intentionality? How can we bring fun team building? How can we create an open office hour? Where I'm just available? How can we have a I love this, I had someone interviewing on my podcast, and she said, we have before a huge client meeting a half an hour of we just talked about our feelings. We just talked about how we're doing. We have open ended conversation questions that have nothing to do with the client. And it's just our internal team, just sharing, like, how was your weekend? And how are you doing? And anybody can come who wants to and it's a safe space? How do we create those intentional conversations so we can feel connected, feel related, and then move forward and create incredible impact? I love that I. And so do you also guide clients through that, that landscape of being on Zoom or having those hybrid workforces?


Absolutely. So we'll do leadership, we'll do team building, we'll do trainings that involve breakouts that involve strategic conversations, interesting questions, we will actually help an executive craft their week, so that they have an open office hour, they have time. So we'll kind of look at the organization, see what's needed based on those EQ assessments, and then put those missing pieces in and or do a full on facilitation for them virtually, or will do in person, we have a nonprofit, that's amazing. Then we're going on site for an all day intensive leadership team building retreat. Because this nonprofit hasn't been remote, they work with youth, and they're all in all the time. And they need to reset because being in person, especially here in California, it's been interesting. You know, we had a very interesting January in 2022, not to mention the last two years. So that is something that we do, where we help curate and craft that curriculum that's really going to create a transformational experience. Now, in the moment, not later, not go do homework and think about it. But what can I help you create right now? And then how do I put things in place to help it be sustainable? I love that. Yeah. Because there's, there's a difference between learning something intellectually, versus applying it, internalizing it and utilizing it now, because we want people to have the benefit of that acquired knowledge and using it. I love that. So if somebody wanted to work with you, kind of, can you tell me one? How they can get in touch with you? And to what process? Would you walk them through to, you know, help them get aligned and start working on some of these things? Absolutely. So our favorite platform is LinkedIn, you can find myself Lauren Sweeney, our CEO, net, and Aster Dean, and our whole team, you can go to rise up for you on LinkedIn, or you can go to our pages as well, of course, our website is rise up for you calm, and you can find our LinkedIn links there. You can also find a lot of free resources if you're an individual, an entrepreneur, or an executive, or running a company. Those types of resources, EQ, time management, public speaking, confidence, are all free downloads on our website rise up for you.com, the best thing that a organization can do is have a strategy call with us, where we look at the organization and see what is missing. What is something that's really not working right now. What are your pain points? What are the things that are keeping you up at night or that you would just love to have solved and you're not sure how we can show you how we can solve them how we can add value to you. And then we can show you a proposal of something that would make a difference for you. If you're a large organization and you're looking to maybe do some dei initiatives. We have emotional intelligence cohorts that we start inside of larger companies, also women in leadership programs that we run for companies all over the globe. So those are things that we can help you with depending on the size of your organization. I love that so many resources right there at your fingertips. I love that I thank you so much for being on our show. I know that people our listeners are going to get so much value from this and I definitely encourage you to reach out to Lauren and rise up for you and get some of the support you need. Lauren, is there anything else that you'd like to share with our audience? One of my favorite quotes is the the image of the harbour with all the boats in it. rising tide lifts all boats. And that as you gain in your soft skills as you gain your confidence as we gain in relating to each other, as you said, Laura, it makes an impact with others. And oftentimes we're trying to like, make it impact with everyone else. If we are better if we are growing, if we are more self aware, it automatically overflows to those around us.


Oh, I love that. And so true. Thank you so much. Once again, for those of you listening, please leave your comments on our episode at rat race reboot.com. Wherever you listen to podcast, the show notes, we'll have those listed with all of Lauren's contact information. So definitely take advantage, he has a lot of wonderful resources for you as well. And today, we're going to close our episode, the way we always do just taking three minutes to connect with yourself your thoughts, and maybe for today, think about something in your organization that maybe isn't going the way you'd like maybe some conversations that need to be had or some difficult conversations you might be dealing with. And give it some thought, What would you like to see as opposed to that. So we're gonna play some music in the background and just sit quietly, have your feet firmly planted on the floor. We're gonna have a nice lovely image in the background. If you're watching us just take a deep inhale through your nose


and exhale fully and completely. Take another deep inhale and exhale I want you to bring to mind maybe something that you're working on whether it be personal, a personal goal or something in your organization or your


home life something that you might be struggling with. And I want you to shift that image thinking about if there were no obstacles? And if you could wave that magic wand What Would You Rather the situation be like? How would it be unfolding


how would that conversation that you need to have and want to have feel if it were easy if you were heard and received you were responding exactly the way you would feel proud to respond. And as a result those responses toward you and your results reflected that inner peace and that confidence. Your superpowers that are already inside of you how does it feel to be you in this moment?


Taken that scene through your five senses Who are you talking with? Who are you serving? And what kind of a difference are you making? Ask yourself what can I do today to move me in that ideal direction just listen for inspiration and ideas to float to the top of your mind


thank you everybody and welcome back. It's been a pleasure once again speaking with Lauren Sweeney. I hope you take advantage of getting in Connect connection with her wonderful resources. Definitely if you've enjoyed today's podcast, leave us a review on whatever platform you listen to your podcast on. subscribe on our YouTube channel, or follow us on whatever podcast platform you listen to your podcasts on. We enjoyed having you on the show. And we will see you next week. But until then, remember, everything is created twice. First in your mind always, and then in physical form. We'll see you next week.


The views and opinions expressed by the hosts guests or callers of this program do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the studio 21 podcast cafe, the United Podcast Network, its partners or affiliates.

Lauren SweeneyProfile Photo

Lauren Sweeney

Vice President

Lauren is an activator and a creative thinker with a heart for public service. Disciplined, coachable, and goal-oriented, she is driven by challenges and has a passion for leadership development and collaboration.

She has advanced coaching certifications from the Direct Sales World Alliance (DSWA) along with a Bachelor's of Science in Community and Regional Development from UC Davis. While there, Lauren also earned the Charles Hess Community Service Award for her efforts in the community. Lauren has served as an Ambassador for the Brea Chamber for several years and enjoys supporting businesses with marketing, and confidence/leadership development. She was awarded the Ambassador of the Year award in 2021 for the Brea Chamber of Commerce in California.

Lauren has spoken for thousands of people on confidence, personal leadership, women in the workplace and more! She has been featured on multiple podcasts, Shout LA magazine, and recognized in a number of California Chamber Magazines. She has spoken for HR, Education, and Women in Leadership conferences throughout the United States.

More recently, as the Vice President of Rise Up For You, she has coached, trained, and worked with multiple Fortune 500 companies around the world on human skills needed for future success.
Lauren thrives on mentoring via asking questions, actively listening, and being a positive example of what she teaches.