Advancing the Mentor’s Development
Keshav Sridhar Business Consultant | the education magazine

Mentoring is the art of shaping minds, to harness greater productivity and wellbeing from individuals and teams, by understanding and using the principles of nature, in conjunction with the science of human psychology.

It is not just about teaching an individual few subjects in a Classroom to help them score better marks. In fact, recent surveys conducted by credible sources suggest that more than 85% of the fresh Graduates in India are unable to make an informed career choice by the time they pass out from their college. And, the number would be similar if a survey is conducted among the Employed folks, to know their vision with regard to their career development.

Today, we are operating in highly dynamic workplace environments. The speed of innovation is such that, most of the technologies of yesterday are becoming obsolete today. However, the laws of nature, be it for the world within us or outside us, will always remain the same.

Hence, mentoring demands the Mentor to operate at a totally different plane of self-awareness so that, one can assimilate the world outside from a vantage point of higher consciousness.

Like a Quality Control (QC) department in an Organization needs QC control for its own development, similarly, a Mentor too needs continuous self-development, whether in a company or an institute or as an individual practitioner.

The corporate world needs results and, it doesn’t matter if the result is delivered by a Ph.D or a B.Sc., as long as the objective is achieved. What is ‘Sales’ to a Company, ‘Placements’ is to an Educational Institute. It’s the backbone which helps Organizations to aspire to grow by leaps and bounds.

Therefore, in a professional establishment, be it a Company or an Institute, advancing the Mentor’s growth is extremely critical, in order to achieve holistic learning and development for the Organization. Hence, facilitating Faculty Development Programmes, Train the Trainer Programmes, Management and Leadership Development Programmes on a regular basis, is of utmost importance, in the interest of the Organizational wellbeing.

Taking examples of two Organizations, Google and BITS Pilani University, there are striking similarities between them. Apart from they being the best in their chosen fields, both of them ensure that they have meritorious and quality minds at play in their Organization, there is absolute freedom to express, experiment and learn, the leadership understands the importance of people development and hence, most importantly, there is a culture of continuous learning & development within these two Organizations.

Building a system where in, learning and development is on an auto-pilot mode, is what the leadership of any organization aspires to achieve. A leader, who is also considered as a mentor by his folks, can’t afford to take impulsive decisions based on fit of rage. One hasty decision from a leader would not only ruin an individual’s career but also, would displace an individual’s dependent family out of grid.

Ego is a big spoil sport in most cases, when it comes to nurturing an Organizational culture of openness and greater synergy. Most of the times, the top leadership is unable to accept and groom the emerging leaders down the ranks. In most workplaces, the top-leadership sees such individuals with high potential as a threat to their own existence and hence, are snubbed down or worst, are chucked out.

Another extremely important quality of a Mentor and a Leader is the ability to resolve conflicts within teams and the Organization. Any workplace which has passionate people in action, is bound to churn out intense difference of opinions. An able Mentor would by all means, be in a position to channelize the high voltage energies from various individuals towards a higher common purpose, there by building greater synergy in the team.

Mentoring is not just for an individual but for teams and Organizations. Hence, an Organization requires Mentors at various levels. A wonderful demo-type system to learn from is the Indian Armed Forces, where in, Mentoring the Mentor happens naturally as part of the Organizational culture. As the motto of Sikh Light Infantry regiment says: “Deg Teg Fateh”, meaning – “Victory to both Kettle & Sword”. That is, nurture and prepare your people during peace; and when the time comes, be ready to win the war!

About the Author:

Keshav Sridhar is a Business Consultant & OD Specialist. He is a seasoned HR Professional, with specialisation in Training & Development. He has an experience of 15 years and has worked with Google, Partygaming etc. He has worked as the Training & Development Manager for BITS Pilani and has also been a Training Consultant for many Educational Institutes and Corporates. Keshav holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from National Institute of Engineering (NIE), Mysore and has done the Certified Learning & Development Manager and Master Trainer & Facilitator programmes from Carlton Advanced Management Institute.


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