The toxic mentor

Here’s someone NOT to emulate, along with some stuff he does gives him that discredit.

The toxic mentor…

1.  Expects his mentee to render overtime.

A 10+ workday should NOT be considered as the norm.  Overtimes should only be considered as a last resort, or as something to get into when you’re feeling productive or enjoying what you’re working on.  And as uncle bob martin (no actual relation) tweeted, the tenet of professionalism is to work 40 hours for your employer, and spend 20 hours on improving yourself and increasing your own value.  Now, you can’t do that if you’re slaving away and putting in all those 60 hours at work.

Excessive overtime also tends to burn people out, or it can make people slack off.  One can already do so much (especially if uninterrupted) during the normal 8 hours of work.  What you should do is push yourself to be more focused and productive in those 8 hours.

2.  Thinks UAT without overtime is impossible.

That’s learned helplessness in action. Don’t try to poison young minds.  And if you think it’s impossible, then you wouldn’t try to attain an OT-less UAT. Management ought to provide an incentive for teams to not be on OT’s or ON’s during UAT. Maybe that would push the teams to improve the quality of their work during CUT and System Test phases where the problems are less costly to fix.

3.  Undermines his mentee’s estimates.

It would be best for the one who’d actually work on the task to provide the estimates. Don’t jump the gun and tell your mentee that the task can be done in just 4 hours when you haven’t even picked up on the requirements of the task. That will just pressure your mentee to do the work within the time you stipulated at the risk of quality.


4.  Causes delay and does not bother to apologize.

Don’t be too proud to say you’re sorry when you’ve inconvenienced your mentee. Just because you’re the mentor and she’s the mentee doesn’t mean she’s not entitled to the same respect and courtesy.

5.  Keeps making promises he can’t keep.

Stick to your word. Keep on breaking it and your mentee will learn to distrust you or, worse, respect you less.

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