Mentors and Role Models w/ Andrew Greaves

Andrew Greaves joins us again from AHR 2020. This time, he discusses what mentors and role models do in our trade and why they're important.

Mentors are not just the grouchy senior techs who throw hammers at apprentices. Mentors have an active role in others' professional development; they spend a lot of time with their mentees and actively aid their growth. Not everyone is cut out to be a mentor, as the role comes with a lot of responsibility (and possibly stress). Role models indirectly influence others by doing good work and inspiring others to do the highest quality work; we should all strive to be role models.

However, the mentees need to put in a lot of work and must have emotional intelligence. Both mentor and mentee need to ask questions about the work and each other. The relationship is all about involvement and intentionality.

Mentors also have to care about their mentees as people, not just as students or technicians. They respect their mentees' values and acknowledge where their own shortcomings are when communicating with their mentees. However, mentors also know when to question and challenge their mentees when necessary. Mentees are entitled to clarity, and a good mentor understands that there has to be mutual understanding and trust in the relationship.

Relationships take time, and mentors usually need to give their mentees a chance to prove their work ethic before they commit to the mentorship. As a mentor, you must understand that your mentee doesn't have your perspective, and that's where empathy and expectation management are required.

Andrew and Bryan also discuss:

  • Individual learning styles
  • Formalization of mentorship
  • Investment in training vs. mentorship
  • “Multimedia” and internet mentorship
  • Dave Barefoot stories
  • How to start a mentor-mentee relationship
  • Filtering through unsuitable mentees
  • Setting expectations before goals

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