Mentoring is a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career, or professional development; mentoring entails informal communication, usually face-to-face and during a sustained period of time, between a person who is perceived to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom, or experience (the mentor) and a person who is perceived to have less (the apprentice).
The most common obstacles I've found apprentices have in their early steps of learning are:
- Not knowing where to start.
- Not having a clear roadmap.
- Having wrong expectations.
- Feeling overwhelmed by big tasks.
- Not knowing how to break a big task in small actionable steps.
- Given a requirement, design possible solutions and choose the best one.
- Feeling insecure about themselves.
- Suffering from the impostor syndrome
A mentor can greatly help the apprentice overcome them.
The most common obstacles I've found as a mentor are:
- Use concepts that the apprentice doesn't yet understand.
- Try to impose my way of doing things.
- Try to impose the best solution or practices even though they are out of reach of the apprentice yet.
People involved in a mentorship experience a strong personal relationship, in order to make it pleasant and healthy it must be based on the next principles:
As in any relationship, care must be one of the main focuses of both parties, by care I mean:
- Actively read the other person mood and state and adjust your behaviours accordingly.
- Ask for the other person's well being, keep track of the events of their lives, and ask them how they went afterwards.
- Know your weak spots, have an improvement plan, and make them visible when they arise.
- Actively search for ways to make their life easier and more pleasant.
- Respect the other person's time, don't be late.
Men must put special interest in this point as we're usually not taught on caring for others.
There's a high risk of having unhealthy power dynamics where the mentor is taken as in a higher position than the apprentice because he has more knowledge in the specific field of study. The reality is that there is a lot more involved in the experience than the transmission of knowledge of the field from mentor to apprentice.
Only if you see yourself as equals you can build the best experience.
- Actively defend and follow the mentorship principles.
- Review and improve the mentoring workflows.
The mentor can help through the next ways:
Roadmap definition and maintenance⚑
Get to know each other⚑
First of all we need to know what are the underlying goals of the apprentice in order to sketch the best roadmap.
Define and maintain a roadmap⚑
It's very important that the apprentice has a clear idea of In order to
Overcome the mentor obstacles⚑
- Be attentive of the apprentice reactions
- Try it's best to follow the agreed roadmap and tasks.
- Analyze themselves with respect to the mentoring workflows.
- Overcome the apprentice's obstacles. *