Sylvia Henderson

Providing the people, programs, and resources that build knowledge, develop skills, and shape attitudes on professionalism, work ethics, and leadership in a diverse workforce.

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Olney, MD.

SL Column: Mentor

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     A new motorcycle rider learns the basic skills and safety procedures for riding in a motorcycle safety class. After earning a license, the new rider builds on the basics by riding with experienced riders. Experienced riders teach the advanced road, track, or trail skills that make newer riders successful riders.

     When a new person joins your team in your professional field, one hopes they have the basic knowledge and skills needed to be a productive member of the team. By working with you and other experienced people, the new person gains the expertise and experience that helps them be successful team members and individuals. How can you be an effective mentor to another when you are busy with your own professional demands?

  • Delegate some of your workload to a new person to free yourself and help them at the same time.
  • Give specific instructions and be exact with deadlines and expectations.
  • Establish checkpoints along the way where you evaluate specific, measurable results so as not to have surprises at the end.
  • Give feedback using the sandwich approach. Tell something positive. Tell what can be improved or made more effective. Then end with something positive and encouraging.
  • Suggest additional resources and study alternatives for further research and knowledge-building opportunities.

     The more you help others succeed, the more successful you become.

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