At ConocoPhillips, providing guidance to the next generation of oil and gas industry professionals is of paramount importance. Throughout the company’s long history, those with experience in every field have taken great care to pass on knowledge and maintain a tradition of excellence. In 2018, the company introduced a new SPIRIT of Performance Award for outstanding mentorship. These five recipients were selected based on demonstrating a superior ability to recognize and nurture talent, helping to expand the potential of young professionals, and fostering an environment of creativity and enthusiasm for growth and innovation:
- Ron Bonnie, petrophysics fellow, Petrophysics & Reservoir Quality
- T.J. Wheeler, senior reservoir engineering fellow, Subsurface
- David Smith, senior reservoir engineering fellow, Subsurface
- Hroar Hermansen, manager, Reservoir Characterization & Exploitation, ConocoPhillips Norway
- John Saker, senior contracts advisor, U.K. Supply Chain
What does it take to cultivate a successful mentor/mentee relationship? Following are some suggestions from ConocoPhillips SPIRIT of Performance Award recipients on being a great mentor.
- The relationship is critical. It’s important to “click” on a personal level. Studies show that even the best-designed mentoring programs are no substitute for a genuine relationship between mentor and mentee.
- Guide, don’t instruct. Help your mentee understand all aspects of a problem and guide them through the process of evaluation.
- Listen without judging. Before you reject an idea, consider why it might work.
- Look for an individual’s passions as well as strengths.
- Share your positive and negative experiences, including mistakes you’ve made along the way.
- Learning flows both ways. When you’re challenged by younger professionals, you learn better ways of doing things.
- Focus on character over competency. The best leaders go beyond job skills, helping to shape the mentee’s character, values and self-awareness.