Be Mindful of Mentoring

As a sales engineer, you should invest a portion of your time to being a mentor. Being a mentor does not have to be a daunting task.

We often believe mentoring is a formal activity. I can be that, but the most impactful mentoring occurs informally. I define the two types of mentoring as:

  • Informal mentoring occurs when you see someone who needs help. Be humble and ask permission to engage.
  • Formal mentoring occurs when you are asked to help with a set of objectives and defined timeframe. This is often a recognition of your skills and professional conduct.  

Regardless of whether mentoring occurs informally or formally, here are ten mentoring traits to keep in mind. The list below originates from Michael Hyatt’s excellent blog post (see links and background at the end of the article). 

Top 10 Mentoring Traits

  1. Be a servant: Your job is to support, never to undermine, supplant, or steal the limelight
  2. Be observant: Your advice is shaped by what you see. Make sure to see enough to have beneficial advice
  3. Be nonjudgmental: Listen to your mentee without sizing up and judging them
  4. Be curious: Ask quality questions—this is more important than having the answers
  5. Be authentic: Be who you are, even if it feels a bit old fashioned
  6. Be calm: A good mentor can keep the temperature down. This is especially important when things get chaotic, and others freak out
  7. Be confident: Realize your experience is relevant, even if you don’t understand all the nuances of the situation
  8. Be reassuring: Amid challenging times, it’s easy to lose sight of our value and what we’re capable of
  9. Be courageous: Call on your mentee to make a difficult decision or conversation.
  10. Be generous: When the mentee achieves the desired result, give them credit.

Learn to recognize these traits and build them into your regular mindset. This allows you to both detect and seek opportunities to engage with others so that you grow other sales engineers around you.

Inspired By

I recently read Michael Hyatt’s post from a few years ago about his observations after seeing the movie The Intern with Robert DiNero. Michael’s post and the movie are a few years old but highly worth the read and viewing — both are gems that stand the test of time. The content for the blog post was inspired by Michael Hyatt and was derived from his original post. If you haven’t subscribed to his blog yet, take a moment to do so – his content and thought leadership is world-class.