Mentorship as the way to learn and grow
The topic of the mentorship is quite popular nowadays. Mentoring people or learning from someone getting more and more common thing and I consider it as a very good thing.
Moreover, I encourage people to start mentoring others. As much as you can, maybe not int the perfect way, but I’m convinced that you should start to share your experiences with others.
Ok, by WHY?
It’s the most common question I’ve heard from people when we spoke about the topic of mentorship. Why should I give out my knowledge and experience for free?
The answer is quite complex and simple at the same time.
Because you will get more back than you gave out.
Explain complex things in a simple way
Sharing something always require efforts to structure information in a way that it’s understandable by others. In another words, you would need to explain complex matters using simple concepts to another people as they would be 5 year old kids (here you find some good examples).
That’s how you can train your good communication skills.
Learn how to understand and inspire
But if we god further and imagine that apart from being a good communicator you would need to learn how to inspire people to do things.
Spoiler: You will struggle and may probably fail with that.
But outcomes will be priceless: skill to understand and motivate people to go to the right direction.
You know some programming and have a lazy friend that wants to learn some Java as well, but prefers to waste yet another human years playing online games (WOW, Dota, complete list yourself ….)
What would you about it?
Tell about upsides of programming? Doesn’t work. Force him to learn something? No way.
The only thing that worked in my case was finding a key for each individual personality. Everyone has that something what can trigger movement forward, some special key.
You just need to learn how to understand people to that extent that finding such key would be much easier.
In the example with the gamer, you could turn his downside to motivating factor — show him how to automate routine activities in games.
Once you grasp kata of Empathy and DAO of Listening it will be so much easier understand and influence people around. Check out this awesome video on this topic:
It’s very hard to add something to things said above, but I will try to add 2 most important 5 cents gained from my life experience.
It’s extremely important to understand the context of each concrete person, cultural background, education level. You can’t speak the same language with people from different places on the planet.
Remember, we are all different and that should make us stronger.
As an example, you can try to use different vocabulary with technical and non-tech people, try to replace professional slang with common words.
How to start? or One step ahead
And last by not least. You should actually start with something.
It’s not that trivial thing when we come to practice. Most of the people think that it doesn’t worth it or they are not skilled enough to teach others or share your knowledge.
In fact, you just need to be (and stay) one step ahead of your mentee. You will be bound to move forward and responsible for getting deeper into the topic.
Originally published at betterstack.org on October 9, 2016.