Behavioral Scale Deep Dive: Low Mentoring

Mentoring: The desire to to help others develop their skills and abilities

Do you often place your own needs above those of others? Do you find it hard to be emotionally supportive sometimes? If so, you may be a low scorer in mentoring. Let’s take a look at the behavioral traits of someone with a low score in mentoring and what managers can do to best encourage their growth.  

Low Mentoring

Meet Stephen. Stephen is always seeking out the next big thing and prefers to fly solo. They would rather focus on their own projects and gets annoyed when they have to spend time helping others with theirs. They think that their colleagues should know how to do their job and shouldn’t need their help or recognition. They sometimes have a hard time understanding why their colleagues are upset and often dismiss their complaints so that they can get back to what they’re doing. They don’t see the point of getting to know their colleagues when they’re probably going to move on to a new job soon.

Stephen is a good example of someone who likely has a low mentoring score. They:

  • Seek change and variety
  • Are easily bored
  • Tends to be dissatisfied with their current status and may seem temperamental
  • Often places their own needs above those of others and are self-serving
  • Can be fickle and easily distracted
  • Tends to be rebellious and non-conforming
  • Is less emotionally supportive and tends to be less nurturing

Tips for Managing Low Scorers

Although low scorers in mentoring can be ambitious self-starters, sometimes their lack of support and willingness to help can have negative consequences in their personal and work life.  At times, low scorers in mentoring can be perceived as fickle, cold and self absorbed.

Whether you’re a manager of a low mentoring scorer or wanting to learn how to better understand a colleague’s behavior, here are some ideas on how to effectively manage this behavioral trait. 

Recommendations for Low Scorers: 

  • Encourage them to understand that through helping others, they help themself. Encourage them to reach out to colleagues.
  • Encourage them to get to know their colleagues and listen to their stories.
  • Remind them that everyone can be supportive. Everyone can say kind words to others and take the time to help others. Encourage them to discipline themself to be supportive. Listen, ask and support. If they accept this discipline, their performance will “jump” in all areas of life.
  • Change and variety, status, and material gain motivate the low scorer in mentoring.
  • Encourage them to recognize and acknowledge others for doing things right.
  • Encourage them to remember that employees or colleagues are human beings, not resources. While motivation aims at getting an employee to do something, support runs much deeper. Synonymous with “caring,” being supportive means caring about the overall person — not just their performance at work.

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