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Who is a mentor?

HR Discussion with team in Bapu Trust, December, 2016.

Present: Almas, Anita Ubale, Naziya, Pratik, Anita Chougule, Ratna, Nasrin, Reshma, Bhagyashri, Bapu, Kavita, Dharma, Bhargavi

As a part of ongoing work in Bapu Trust, towards maintaining work culture in the face of upscaling of our grassroots project, Seher, we had this following discussion.

A mentor is a facilitator. He or she is someone who can guide and show direction. She makes suggestions or opens new windows at times of barriers to work. She shares her learning from experience to her peer, or junior, how to move forward co-operatively building on experience. She is a role model. She always thinks about the next person's growth and is not selfish only for herself. She may have good management techniques. She understands qualities and strengths, as well as areas for growth to next level, and takes that into account in giving feedback. She improves a person based on their strengths, not only on her expectations. She will seek time and windows of opportunity for mentoring, instead of waiting for problems to show up. The mentor will have a vision also, will appreciate what is being done, and will say that with open heart. She will know how to release the pressure of work, be there when needed, and how to build stamina. It is a nurturing relationship, like a gardener's work. She will give challenges at the right time. She is like a kumbar (potter), shaping what is available, allowing it to meld and flow in its own way, but also pushing a little bit. She will be able to calculate 'risk' while pushing, and also have a safety plan for covering risk. The mentor will herself be motivated, and also be able to motivate others. She will encourage dialogue and debate. She will use her own slogans and punch lines to inspire and motivate. She will touch, pat, hug and give High5s! She will have a 'karenge' attitude, 'let's just do and see'! She will keep faith, believing in the other person fully. She will keep a cold mind at the time of (organizational) crisis, and think on behalf of the organization. She will Pause, Pause and Pause at times of managing crisis, to self reflect, and to move on together with others.




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