To be a mentor

    Have you met people who, at the very first difficulty, do not try to overcome it on their own, but run to a more experienced friend for help? The senior colleague prompts the decision, and everyone seems to be happy, but the senior was distracted, and the younger did not earn their own experience. And there are also people who, it would seem, are excellent specialists and professionals. But they have low professional self-esteem and they are afraid to take on more than they have now. And there are still people who are hard to learn new information, they need to draw everything with squares and arrows, and even more than once. And not two. These people are often united by the fact that at one time they came across a bad teacher at school or a bad mentor already on the career path.

    Being a bad mentor is easy. It can be difficult to notice a bad mentor; in appearance, he may seem good and not understand that he is making mistakes.

    It is expensive to make mistakes

    The relationship between the mentor and the student can be compared with that of the parent and child. Both the parent and the mentor have a great influence, at the same time, both the student and the child may not be aware or aware of whether they have a good mentor or a bad one.

    Just as parental mistakes can last a lifetime for a child, mentor mistakes can last through an entire professional career. Errors of this kind sit deep, and it is not always possible to reliably determine their source.

    How to recover from these errors, I do not know. The same long road, as in the case of parents - awareness of the problem and subsequent self-control. Therefore, the mentor must understand and accept the share of responsibility assigned to him.


    The most critical mistake that anyone who has an influence on another person can make is to instill a sense of inferiority. Being a mentor, in no case can you position yourself from the point of view of the fact that you, a mentor, are a first-class specialist, and your authority is unshakable, and your student is nobody and you cannot call him.

    Such a line of behavior is a direct path to the birth of a professional cripple.
    This often happens if a person goes on a mentorship with the goal of rocking his FWM against the background of young, less professional colleagues, with the goal of showing them (and above all, himself) how cool he is.

    At the same time, I don’t declare that it’s impossible to go into mentoring for my own QSV, of course, but only on condition that your QSW grows from the idea of ​​teaching and learning, from the idea that excellent specialists get out of your hands.


    Hyperopeca is the same emotional corruption as the instilling of a sense of inferiority.
    When you are a mentor, your desire to see the good results of your work can be expressed in the fact that you will be tempted to unnecessarily help the ward, or even do everything instead, not letting your own experience form.

    In such cases, there is a good chance that in the end your student will turn out to be independent, disorganized and inexperienced. And if you're not lucky, then he still will not be aware of it.
    Thus, hyper-custody, you risk raising a person who, up to 40 years of age on any problem, even with appropriate training, will run to timlid in the way that people under 40 live with their parents because of the fear of an independent life.

    Let your students learn to solve problems themselves, and only when the understanding comes that they are completely at an impasse, then come to their aid, prompting further steps.

    The student is not stupid

    Against the background of the previous mistake, it is not very difficult to allow one more thing - to make the student feel dumb.

    There is one cognitive distortion, beautiful in its insidiousness, familiar to many with the “curse of knowledge”. It consists in the fact that if you know a certain section of knowledge for a long time and well, then for you this knowledge seems quite understandable and lying on the surface. But when you try to explain them, you will come across a complete misunderstanding. There can be many reasons for misunderstanding, from banal complexity to the fact that your explanations are based on other things that you must first understand.

    Thus, it is easy to come to a situation where you are trying to explain something to the student, but he does not understand, then you begin to get annoyed by this, and the student notices, understands your emotions, and all evening he will stay at home, listen to sad music and think that he is dumb and not suitable for the profession.

    The cherry on the cake of the consequences may be that at this moment you decide that you are also a so-so teacher.

    And you just need to explain to yourself and the ward the essence of the phenomenon, to tell that this happens to everyone, that you don’t need to be afraid of this and draw conclusions on the basis of this.

    I personally remember very well how I could not understand the idea of ​​asynchrony, I did not understand what advantages it gives and what are the disadvantages. They explained to me once, a second time, a third time. It seems to be understood, but still very ambiguous.

    And now, after a while, for me it seems understandable, obvious and lying on the surface.

    Duckling syndrome

    Another problem arising from the previous ones. There is a wonderful phenomenon called duckling syndrome. I’m sure that almost everyone knows about him, but I’ll explain: duckling syndrome is a phenomenon in which a specialist considers the first studied technology or tool studied the best.

    You, as a mentor, have the full responsibility to tell a new person in the profession that the world is not arranged in such a way that all tools are useful and important, everyone has their pros and cons, and you should not expect that a career path will always go with the same technology at hand.

    Otherwise, you will get the next specialist who enrolled in the adherents of a tool or technology, and after all they are not very fond of these, in fact, they often get together in groups and discuss that their programming language is the best, and the rest of the languages ​​are envious.

    There can be many mistakes listed above, these are only the most superficial, but, despite this, they continue to be repeated and spoiled by career people.

    Bad mentors do these things, but let's talk about what the good ones do.


    This is also an obvious thing, but not everyone understands the importance of feedback.

    Firstly, feedback is needed so that the ward does not draw the wrong conclusions. It works very simply - people tend to try to find the answer on their own within the framework of the unknown. A person with low self-esteem will surely find confirmation that he is doing poorly, that he is not coping, and this profession is not his. Conversely, a person with high self-esteem can begin to fly in the clouds and stop developing on the basis of thoughts that he is already quite cool.

    Secondly, the nature of the feedback should be selected strictly for the student. Shy people will have a hard time responding correctly to the feedback in a conversation in 1-on-1 conversations, and someone wants to get a more formal feedback in the form of an expanded letter, someone just needs correspondence in the messenger, where you can normally think over the following words and hide emotions, if any there is.

    Thirdly, you need feedback as a mentor. Perhaps you should better develop your mentoring skills somewhere, maybe the student sees something that you don’t see.

    All this revolves around a simple and understandable principle - transparency. The more transparent your relationship, the easier it is for all parties.

    Accounting for progress

    Without progress, it will be very difficult to draw the right conclusions at the end of the course. The reason for this is quite simple - without taking into account the progress, your conclusions will be based on your memory, and it works differently for everyone, someone remembers the good better, someone the bad, so the result of your thoughts on the student’s success can be very different from the objective strong.

    In addition, there is such a phenomenon as the brightness of recent memories in comparison with older ones, therefore a successfully passed stage or, on the contrary, a conflict, can provoke a greater subjectivity of the conclusions.

    It is enough just to keep a tablet where the student’s tasks will be described, your expectations and what was in reality, and in general all personal impressions at each stage of each day of training, it is very convenient for future analysis.

    Disclosure of Expectations

    Continuation of the topic by developing maximum transparency in the relationship.
    Do not hide from your wards your expectations about their successes. This is important for the same reason as feedback — the student’s ambiguity of the goal can serve as an incentive for him to set these goals, and they will already differ from the desired ones or not - as luck would have it.

    If everything is already bad

    If you feel that you or your mentor are making such mistakes, then do not be afraid to talk and think about whether you want possible consequences.

    If you have already encountered the consequences of poor mentoring, then I would give advice up to the point of going to a psychotherapist and discussing problems with him, since it may not work out on your own.

    I want to emphasize that being a mentor is much more responsible than it might seem to many.


    Remember the main thing. You do not go to mentors just to become a mentor and scratch your FAC. And certainly not to realize how cool and experienced you are against the background of newcomers or juniors.

    You do this in order to ensure a high-quality transfer of knowledge, help a colleague become more confident in himself and better cope with tasks. By the way, sometimes they voice a strange stereotype, they say, to be a mentor and train someone in their own company = to grow a competitor, people think that in this case it is more profitable to isolate knowledge, supposedly it will make you a more valuable employee.

    If, while teaching a junior about the intricacies of a profession, you really think that now he will definitely become the reason for your dismissal, I have bad news for you.

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