Mentoring Mistakes Smart Project Teams Make

Getting the most of out any mentoring relationships is important. We’ve looked at ways to find the right mentor (find-the-right-business-mentor) and how to be a good mentor (6 reasons-mentoring still matters), but there are some surprising mistakes experienced Project Teams still make that you’ll want to avoid. See if your team is being tripped up by these mentoring pitfalls. (GOING BEYOND MENTORING(MENTORING MISTAKES SMART Project TeamS MAKE)

Focusing only on project management skills. Much of a mentor’s experience will be in areas other than project management, but many Project Teams overlook the value of these less tangible skills. Savvy mentors will also help less experienced professionals learn how to do things such as deal with coworkers and managers, navigate complex budget processes, network in a way that cements useful long-term relationships, and cultivate a plan for their long-term career path.


Placing only junior-level professionals in the mentoring program. Even seasoned PMs will sometimes benefit from a mentoring relationship, especially when they’re facing a project that presents them with a niche challenge that’s new to them. These types of learning situations may not merit the usual formal or long-term mentoring framework, but smart Project Teams will still encourage and support these relationships.


Fostering competition between mentors and mentees. A little healthy competition among peers is usually a good thing, but a mentee’s success should never translate into a mentor’s failure. Either mentors should be outside any competitive structure within the Project Team—thus eliminating potential conflicts—or the competition culture should be toned down to instead encourage more collaborative efforts.


Allowing mentees to rely too much on their mentors. It’s important that less experienced professionals be able to experience failures along their growth path, something that might be hampered by an over-protective mentor. Ensure your mentees are stretching (and succeeding) under their own power, and that mentors are providing guidance and advice without interfering at an inappropriate level.


PMAlliance uses a team of highly experienced and certified professionals to provide project management consultingproject management training and project office development services.


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