Monday, December 22, 2014

As we move up the career ladder we are made to mentor a few other colleagues, who are less experienced than us. This is a very challenging task. I have been fortunate enough to have good guides and mentors at work but it is not the case for many. I have heard many venting out their anger when they speak about people who guide them at work. Why is this so? How can we become better mentors? I am writing this post not with the experience of being a good mentor but with the experience of having good guides and mentors at work.

            Mentor doesn't have to mean a two year experienced guy or a girl who tries to explain the project to a fresher. Mentor can refer to a team lead or a manager too. So, now, let's focus on what it takes to be called a bad mentor.

Situation one:
This is a very common situation where a higher official asks you to team up with a junior to complete a task.
            The junior tries his/her best with their calibre and knowledge to give a tip that becomes a key point to complete the project.
Good mentor:
A good mentor makes it a point to emphasis more on the contribution of the junior under his guidance and calls the mistakes done as a scope to improve. The mentor takes ownership of the mistakes and later guides the junior to avoid the mistake.
Bad mentor:
A bad mentor never brings up this point calling it trivial while discussing the completion of the task with the higher ups. Highlights only the mistakes done by the junior.
By doing this you are not gaining a good name or being called efficient. You have actually failed as a mentor when your mentee fails.

            What I have learnt from good managers I have seen and heard about is that they make sure their team grows more than their personal growth. The team grows and they grow eventually.

            Corporate ladder is a human ladder. One person uses the other person's shoulder to climb up. If you push the one below you, you eventually fall. If you make people under you strong, you naturally go up steadily.

            So, if you are going to be a manager or a mentor in the future remember the human corporate ladder. Don't push anyone to climb up as your fall is dated the moment you trash people under you.

What do you think? 

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