Mentoring without words

. 1 min read

I love mentoring because you always learn something new.

My most memorable coding workshop was the one where I didn't speak the language. Being the smart person I am, I only figured this out when all the mentors introduced themselves in German at the start of the day.

My German was not great. I was determined to mentor anyway, and it worked out quite well!

Being a mentor is much more than being a cleverer person who explains technical stuff. Mentorship is a constant readjustment exercise, which requires more listening than speaking.

I could not understand full speed German at the time. My lack of ability forced me to focus on body language, facial expressions, and energy levels.

For example, if you notice the student is looking a little tired towards the end of the workshop, you can use the moment to summarise content and highlight today's achievements, rather than launching into new material.

Listening is more important than speaking. Don't forget to listen for all the non-verbal cues too.

Photo by Tobias Tullius on Unsplash.