A Lesson in Subtlety: How to Mentor Colleagues
While there is no clear path to finding a mentor, when Simon Whitton, Managing Director, SIRO Consulting chatted with Brandon Pfluger, Host, Knowledge is Power, about his career in robotics, he shared some key insight into how he’s ended up acting as a mentor to colleagues.
Throughout his career, Whitton has held leadership positions that have given him the opportunity to educate colleagues in the industry, from other executives down to building his own teams. When it comes to coaching colleagues, Whitton tends to stumble upon these opportunities similar to how he did the field of robotics. “You tend to not really stop and think too much about that, you just move on. And I suppose the evidence of whether you’ve done it reasonably well, it is the people that are coming along behind you and how they’re working,” Whitton said. Whitton has enjoyed following the career progress of his teammates over the years.
He shared a story about a colleague he watched grow and evolve over the years who went from service engineer to the president of a large organization in China. This colleague was very humble, but needed a little push. “You reach a point where you say this person is growing, and you realize that you realized before he realizes, this guy could be quite something. But he doesn’t think he can be, he’s still very humble and a bit nervous about taking the different steps, if you see what I mean,” Whitton said. He explained that reinforcing with confidence boosters instead of trying to convince him of his potential was more effective. “So it’s that reinforcing as a kind of convincing, if you like, but certainly all the time, all you’re really doing is this mentoring,” Whitton explained.
Check out this episode of Knowledge is Power for more insight into leadership, mentorship, and the robotics industry.