My team is working on a new project that is out of the usual domain our company work in, we are currently on a search for subject expert and a mentor who can guide our developers in the right direction? How do I go about selecting the right mentor? What factors should I look out for?
Mentoring is so important and can be a real gamechanger. Here’s an article that optimizes the process for both mentors and mentees:
Over the past few years, I’ve had a couple of mentors. There are a few things I learnt from them as well as from the way I made decision about choosing the mentors. Let me try and capture some points here for you:
- Finding a mentor is easy; but finding the right mentor is difficult;
- Mentors are more like board-members; they influence your decision so much that you might not want to burn the bridge with them, and sometimes, ultimately end up doing what they say in your company;
- Mentors must allow you to do what you do; respect the way you make decisions and embrace it;
- You must made the decision to wave goodbye to a mentor; don’t judge the mentor based on their softness or kindness; work with after knowing the value they can add to the company;
- Do not work with a mentor who will comfort you all the time; mentors are your middle-ground; make sure they are making unbiased suggestions to you;
- Find mentors who work with other companies as well; their knowledge and view are extremely wider than a mentor who is working with smaller teams/companies;
- Never let a mentor preach their working style on you; they are different and you are different;
- Give something back to them; make them feel valuable; ultimately, no one does anything for free; you have to give something back to get something in return;
- Don’t try to do business with them when you’re running out of cash; mentors are different and customers are different; keep them separate;
- Try and build a company with your own style; every company is unique, like your company; when you mentor someone someday, try not to preach and pave a path for them and make their journey easy; entrepreneurs need the hard-tasting medicine of handling rough path and patch them to get to where they want to go; be with them, but don’t hold their hand;
These were some of the learnings I’ve had with my mentors; I spend years before I go with a mentor; and it is always a good idea to find multiple mentors and keep them concentrating on one focus area in the company.
Now, I’m going to quickly hop in and read the article @Meghana_Srinivas shared.