What are some things you wish your mentor did?

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To those of you who once had a mentor, please take a stroll down memory lane.

Those of you who still have a mentor, please think of your current situation.

Got it? Okay. Now I have a simple question: What do you wish your mentor did better? Should they have been more proactive in helping you? Should they have given you more independence? Should they have bought you pizza every second Thursday?

I unexpectedly find myself in a new senior role with some people to guide, and I want to do it as well as I possibly can. So if you have any input, please go ahead and tell me about it.

Thanks!~

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The best thing a mentor can do is challenge you to aim higher and improve yourself.

My mentors were OK with giving me positive feedback, but I wish they had given me more negative feedback. What can I improve? What are my blind spots?

In practice, though, if the people you're mentoring are co-workers in the same company, you have to be more careful about negative feedback because maybe it's not your place to be doing something that sounds like a performance review.

For mentoring junior co-workers, I've found that the most valuable type of information is about how the company works, the idiosyncracies and the "this-is-how-we-do-things-here" quirks. When you're new to a company there's a lot to absorb, and it can be overwhelming. As a mentor, even just being available for questions can be a huge help.

 

Hey Marek,

thanks for your input. I find it matches with what I had in mind. So I guess I'm not on a completely wrong track. :)

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Richard Blechinger profile image
Software engineer and web developer with a soft spot for shell scripting. I like working on side projects in my spare time. Stuck somewhere between too lazy to make lunch and working a 60 hour week.