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Become a Better Mentor w/ Eric Kaiser

Eric Kaiser returns to the podcast to talk about how to become a better mentor. He explains the topic from the perspective of a mentor and a mentee.

The goal of mentorship is to pass your knowledge on to someone else. When you give someone the knowledge to succeed in the HVAC/R trade, you move the trade forward and allow yourself to try new career opportunities when someone can replace you.

Some of the most effective mentorship strategies establish the mentor as a guide rather than someone who spoon-feeds the mentee. Mentorship is about supporting discovery, which also builds the relationship between the mentor and mentee. Mentors can also learn from their mentees when they allow their mentees to discover the answers to their questions.

Mentors can also benefit their mentees by talking about health, especially mental health. Those who have been in the trade a long time may know how to draw boundaries between their work and their personal lives; mentees can benefit from open discussions about those things, and it helps to know that their mentor cares for them. Good mentors help mentees prioritize their health and wellness and break mental health stigmas.

Mentors can also share references to other possible teachers with their mentees. Those relationships are especially important for mentors who don’t have all the answers. Mentorship provides the context for training, and those connections provide as much context as possible. Mentors can also be mentees themselves, and those relationships are what really advance the trade.

Eric and Bryan also discuss:

  • Online education vs. in-person mentorship
  • The role of the apprentice or mentee
  • The Socratic method
  • Mentoring people about health and safety practices
  • Bryan and Eric’s mentors
  • Recognizing who mentors are and treating them appropriately

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