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What does Mentorship mean at GreyB?

Mentoring is not “one size fits all”, so a mentor should take the time to understand a mentee’s unique circumstances and needs. Some need psychosocial support, others need practical and informed advice on how to achieve their goals”

– Nikhil Gupta, Search Team Manager

Just like most freshers, I was curious how the work culture would look like when I first started working at GreyB – would I be left on my own to figure it all out? Will my mentor help me in every step of the way? What would it be like?

But these 4 months have been a smooth ride. My mentor not only helped me during my transition into this company, but her guidance enabled me to manage all the responsibilities efficiently. Her support gave me a whole new perspective towards the “mentor-mentee relationship”.

This made me wonder, how does one transition to becoming a mentor? 

It wasn’t long before my question was answered, or let’s say discovered as I was assigned to cover a mentorship workshop by Nikhil Gupta, a group manager at GreyB with 11+ years of experience.

You see, at GreyB you’re prepared for such transitions from the very beginning. How? Regular Workshops!

The 8-week course started with some tips to layout a roadmap for the mentees, interactive roleplays to prepare them for the future situations, and ended with an insightful clip from the Karate Kid movie!

Laying the roadmap for your mentee - KEYPOINTS for a mentor-mentee relationship

If you’ve watched the movie, I am guessing you’ve figured it out by now.

What did the soon to be mentors learnt from this workshop? Well, a lot! Stay with me and you’ll know. (I’ve literally got a list! :p)

How to become a great mentor?

  1. Be Patient, and give your mentee time to breathe.
  2. Find a pace that both you and your mentee are comfortable with. 
  3. Instead of providing solutions, let your mentee come up with one.
  4. Try to understand your mentee’s personality and plan his/her future course accordingly.
  5. Never judge your mentee in the first go, understand his problem and make the decision. Further, if the mentee is facing any difficulty or if the output is not sufficient, have a conversation with them before making any judgment.
Communication model by Albert Mehrabian for a mentor-mentee relationship
  1. Mentorship is a two-way communication not a one-way input from the mentor. It’s about listening to the mentee “n” number of times without losing patience. 
  2. Not spoon-feeding a mentee during a tough situation, instead let them express their thoughts regarding the ways to deal with the situation and then suggest a suitable way to overcome the situation.
  3. Be empathetic.
  4. It is important to share your experiences (both failures and successes).
  5. Many a times, mentees tend to interpret a few things like expectations, time taken for a particular task, etc. Try and help them with what’s really expected of them.
  6. Mentorship is not a ‘one size fits all’ kind of thing. One has to be open & dynamic in their mentoring style. 
  7. Keep sharing your experience in a fun way, listen more, and try gamifying the tasks so that he/she learns faster and clearer.
  8. Be flexible in terms of timings and breaks and at the same time make sure they are available at the right time.
  9. The same approach doesn’t work for different people. We have to make changes to our approach according to the person in front of us.
  10. Mentorship is not always about making things easier for your mentee. You might need to put them in uncomfortable situations every once in a while so that they are able to learn.
  11. Try to make learning fun.
  12. Start with the positives.
  13. Understanding the fact that, the way I was mentored might not be the best way to mentor my mentee, they are different. 
  14. Always be available. If not instantly, try asap. I believe it’s very important to hear out your mentee when they need us.
  15. Mentorship is all about understanding -> observing -> planning -> trying -> retrying.
  16. Encourage them to be transparent for at least the project or work-related things.
  17. Be clear in communicating the responsibilities and expectations. There should be no ambiguity. At the same time, give directions and not instructions. Given the nature of our work, miscommunication will definitely lead to non-adherence to timelines.
  18. Observe <-> Understand <-> Act, which should be the flow while there is a discussion with the mentee. (Try the cyclic waterfall model!)
  19. Conversation is the key, if you are finding any difficulty understanding another person’s mindset or style of working, communicate well so that you both are on the same page. 
  20. It is better to let your Mentee do things on their own and learn rather than spoon-feeding them all the time, be clear with your expectations and tell them regularly what area they can improve in.
  21.  As a mentor, always be approachable to your mentee so that your mentee doesn’t shy away from sharing things with you.
  22. Keep a timer while Mentoring, there would be instances where you will have to manage your project and your mentee’s project, keeping a tab on the time. (Mentoring Map)
  23. Sometimes leading by example inspires mentee & go a long way. 
  24. Every person has a different personality. The best way is to keep observing the person and not make a judgment based on our assumptions. 
  25. Communication is the key to the mentor-mentee relationship. We should be very transparent about the problems that we are facing. 

Want to peep inside the life at GreyB?

See the life at GreyB

Conclusion

Despite the fact that every company works differently, I believe these learnings can still help upcoming and current mentors who are looking forward to improve their relationship and make the most out of their mentee’s strengths.

Just reading these pointers have already provided me with so many valuable insights, I can’t wait to get ready for the next step. (but it’s just baby steps for now!) 

What qualities do you wish your mentor should have? Let us know in the comments below.

P.S. Want to be a part of GreyB too? Check out our careers page.

Authored By: Ridhima Mahajan, Marketing

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