How often did you experience the first result on Google to be a perfect match? How often did you read the book you needed by accident? How often have you heard yourself say _ "if only I had known this technique earlier "_? How often did you fail at understanding a generic explanation but grasped the one customized for you?
Do we need other moving bodies?
There is too much content. We need curation. We use ratings and reviews to guide ourselves. We inform ourselves before we buy. In other words, we rely on information from other people to grow. There is no way around it.
During our studies, we practiced study groups. We helped each other understand and learn new concepts. But, again, we relied on others to move forward.
But once we reach the professional world, we kind of lose this behavior. We become "professionals": " They hired me to do a job, I must pretend to be able to do ". If you don't watch out, the _ "fake it until you make it "_ philosophy takes over.
Is that bad? We are very successful this way. Developers are problem solvers. Give us a problem, and we will find a solution. So it isn't bad per se. But it limits our potential.
We could be even more successful if we chose to work together. What if we stopped fighting alone hours long and get some help after only 5 minutes instead?
Why do we all want to make the same mistakes repeatedly and not choose to learn from one another? Why does asking for help feels like pulling your pants down and saying _ "I'm useless, please kick my ass"_?
Collaboration is everywhere lately, at least in my agile world. But we mostly focus on the roles, not the persons. Team members help team members, not the "person" in front of them. So even in teams that function well, the "we" of the team is paramount.
"You," the highest level of collaboration
There is even a higher collaboration level.
It appears when "we" becomes "you." It appears when someone decides to give out their time and energy. It appears when we help without expecting anything in return. It appears when your success as a person becomes important to me as another human being. When options get suggested, new horizons open. Where experience stories flow, this is where mentoring takes place.
When "you "are the receiving end of the mentoring, the discussion is yours. It is your journey, and you now have either a guide or a companion. Done well, it is one of the best rollercoasters there can be.
Mentoring in praxis
What do a mentor and a mentee do together? Whatever they want, as long as the mentee is the focus. It can be working or philosophying together. It can be reading books and discussing them. It can be solving problems on a day-to-day basis. It can be helping ease a difficult conversation. Heck, it can even be being there when there is something to celebrate or to mourn.
Mentoring has as many faces as there are mentor-mentee pairs. And that's how it should be. Mentoring is all about "you." And last time I checked, you were unique.
This article focused on the "why" behind mentoring. We can fake living and working in this world without relying on human relations. But we won't be as effective as we could be.
Mentoring is the art of helping one person grow. This booster is much-needed, both for your career and for your life in general.
Luckily for all, it's easier to be both a mentor and a mentee than one would think. This article is the first post of a series about mentoring. In the other articles, you will learn everything you need to get started with mentorship.
Here's part 2 about demystifying the mentor.
Do you have questions? Write your feedback in the comments below so that I can tailor the upcoming posts to your needs!