Tips on how to be a better mentor to a AAE just starting out? What did you like most about folks above you when you were beginning your career?

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Let them fuck up! Most things you trust them with you can probably do more efficiently yourself. But the bosses I’ve had who’ve given me the space to figure things out, and fail along the way, have always been the most helpful.

And stick up for them, especially to authorities. There’s so much imposter syndrome floating around, especially in account services. When my bosses have backed me up, made sure my opinions are respected (or at least acknowledged), it’s the surefire way to build a trusting team dynamic.

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PLEASE onboard them!!! Also, don’t treat them like their supposed to know everything you’re talking about. Ask them if they have questions. Help them but at the same time challenge them. Take them wherever you go from actual meeting to just checking in with creatives. My supp never did this and when she left her boss would always include me and I learned so much from observing.

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Trust in them and don’t micromanage.

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Just letting me listen in. Be a part of things. Hearing how meetings went vs being in them to hear for yourself was super powerful

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Instead of fixing problems (or doing things and letting them watch) take 10 mins to talk through the process letting them lead. Phrase it like “what do you think we should do next?” When the answer, right or wrong, ask “what do you think would be the outcome of that?” Give them time to think through variables with you. And do this often. They start putting together the pieces, and before you release them back to do anything, you know they’re headed in the right direction (so you can step back and not micromanage).

And bcc them on important emails when it’s appropriate. Getting used to client language is so much better for them than hearing it second hand from you - obviously to your discretion. It also makes them feel a little bit more important/involved and confidence is key!

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I know they are getting paid to do a job and “help you out” but at the end of every week just say “hey thanks for your help this week”. It’s a nice touch that makes people feel like they matter and they’ll want to continue to work hard for you

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Be nice to them and let them know when they do things right. ALWAYS give them update on their progress and how to measure it. Take an interest in what they’re like and get to know them!

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Get them excited about advertising! It is easy to become cynical in this industry. Make sure they understand all of the fun and amazing opportunities they could have. Talk to them about the craft - be honest about what you love and hate about it. Over communicate but do give them space to fuck up on smaller things - every AAE should have to apologize to a client once - it helps them develop thicker skin.

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As an AAE, I want to be more empowered and feel “necessary” if you will. Many times I feel like my managers get caught in their own tasks and not check in enough

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Totally know the feeling

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