#56 - 5 March 2021
Mentoring, coaching, and sponsoring team members; You can't give too much positive feedback
It’s been a big week here - we finally got a long-awaited paper submitted, attended one virtual conference, and are gearing up for another.
I hope you and your team has had successes this week too - are there any you want to share? If so, or if you have any feedback, suggestions, ideas, or questions, let me know - reply, or send me something at email@example.com.
For now, on to the roundup!
A good overview of the different ways we can contribute to a team member’s development:
Mentoring: sharing your experience so an engineer can leverage it themselves. Coaching: asking the right questions to help an engineer reach a solution that works for them. Sponsoring: giving stretch projects or opportunities to help an engineer grow.
Of these, mentorship is the least valuable - our experience may or may not transfer over. Working with our team members to help them solve the problem (coaching), and explicitly making room for them to learn new things (sponsoring) ask more from us, but have better results and are higher leverage by helping them grow further, faster.
Batra works through some examples of what the three might look like, from submitting a talk to getting more visibility in the organization.
A Simple Compliment Can Make a Big Difference - Erica Boothby, Xuan Zhao, and Vanessa K. Bohns, HBR
A reminder of something we should know - a complement, or positive feedback, measurably improves peoples mood through the day, and repeated positive comments over consecutive days does not diminish the effect!
As managers we tend to think most about negative feedback, which absolutely has to be given whenever it is needed, but we often forget to give concrete positive feedback or even just more general praise. Don’t do that - call out jobs well done as often as possible. You won’t overdo it, you’ll get more of what you’re looking for, and it makes everyone’s day better.