A successful mentoring relationship benefits those involved through increased confidence and a sense of direction. The relationship provides a risk-free learning environment in which to offer career guidance. Mentoring relationships can develop between individuals within an organization, between individuals in two different organizations, or between students and STC professionals.
A manager, especially a more hard-nosed type, may pick up a writer's draft and attack the writer, circling mistakes with red ink, demanding rewrites, and peppering the work with negative remarks. If the manager is uptight, it doesn't take very long for subordinates to become uptight also. And being too managerial may end up creating an adversarial relationship, which can thwart the writer's professional growth. On the other hand, a supportive and nurturing fellow worker -- a mentor, in other words -- can help create a positive and productive team environment. Mentors may have to be patient with their writers at times, but that patience should pay off, long-term, in results and accomplishments. When you find ways to make your people look good, they will in turn make you look good.
The author’s company is continually looking for people to add to our professional staff of usability and documentation specialists. To overcome the challenges posed by geographically distributed offices, and to ensure new hires can become productive quickly, Tec-Ed takes a structured approach to screening, qualifying, and selecting new hires and then uses a hands-on, building-block approach to train them in our usability methodologies.