I had not thought about a formal process behind being a mentor before, and didn’t think of myself as one.
I was assigned the new person to train with multiple companies.
It wasn’t even official the first time that it happened at GM. The young trainee said that she learned more from me in 2 months than in the last year and a half of her 2-year training program, which included a 6 week programming boot camp.
I did two things:
- Assumed that they could do anything until they proved that they could not. I told another, “I knew that you could do it. You just didn’t know that you could do it!” I committed her to having a major database change done by the end of the day, without any overtime.
- Gave them an assignment, a fixed amount of time to work on it, and told them that would give them enough experience to ask intelligent questions but not get too frustrated. I wanted them to get used to discussing problems with other co-workers. It worked.
I always concentrated on goals, large and small, as in Don’t YOU be the Cause of an IT Project Failure.
The point on values was interesting. I never thought to discuss values as such, either the company’s, mine or theirs.
I did do it in my personal life, as in What are Your Values — Write them down. First, I had to define the term “Value.” It was an enlightening experience. I recommend that everyone do it.