There are many good things I could say. I value your mentorship. Your ease of collaboration…Your willingness to teach and correct. Your radical candor. Your deep understanding of UI elements, especially regarding the [GE Design] system. Thanks!
– Morgan Prenger, GE UX Leadership Program (2016)
I consider it a great responsibility, honor and true pleasure when I am able to manage and mentor others, either in the context of a formal HR relationship (as direct reports), or as friends and colleagues. Whether it’s more junior team members, or senior practitioners needing to delve into a new area, it’s incredibly rewarding for me to be given the chance to directly impact someone in a positive way. As a mentor, in the context of disciplines, project teams or broader organizations, I take great pride in:
- Helping to identify people’s strengths and areas for improvement
- Determining actionable plans to help people achieve personal goals
- Facilitating interpersonal relationships when conflict arises
- Offering friendship and support, and trying constantly to serve as a positive example
– David Eicke, GE UX Leadership Program (2017)
- Be Empathetic: Stand in the shoes of the people you manage or mentor. Get inside their perspective and outside of your own.
- Understand Individual Goals: If you don’t understand where people want to go, you can’t help them get there. Work with people to identify those goals, and help refine them where needed (e.g., using the Five Whys).
- Focus on Strengths: Find out what people are awesome at doing and focus on those things; shine a light on areas for improvement, but don’t fixate on them.
- Share Knowledge Actively: Be a great teacher; help people learn new things, and don’t be afraid to learn with them.
- Senior Staff UX Interaction Designer (GE): Provided guidance to product team members under my oversight (five separate applications, four individuals); mentored two individuals in GE’s UX Leadership Program (UXLP);
- Director of Interaction Design and Web Development (Sequence): Led both the interaction design and Web development teams in a small design agency (teams of 2-4 individuals over the course of six years)
- Director of Web Development (Sapient): Responsible for the people management of a 20+ person discipline