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Mentors and Mentoring

Here are the questions filed under this category. To read Ken's advice on any item, click on the link "Read Ken's Answer."


I am rather new to management, and I am spending so much time in meetings and on committees that I hardly have enough time to actually do my job, especially when you add in the time I spend with my staff. What's a manager to do?
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I am new to management and I am supposed to do a budget for my department. I do not know how to do one, and I have never been trained in this area. No one, including my manager, has time to show me. I'll do what I can, but I'm sure a lot of it will be wrong. Is this my fault or the company's?
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I have been doing market research here for about a year, and one of my co-workers is assigned to be my mentor. He reviews my work and advises me. I disagreed with what he wanted me to do on a recent project, but I went along with it. It turns out that I was right and he was wrong. Should I tell this to our boss?
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When I joined this company, I was introduced to an individual who was assigned to be my mentor. He seemed friendly and knowledgeable, but he is never available to give me any help. He puts me off every time I approach him, and I'm thinking about going to management. What do you say?
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When I joined this company about a month ago, I was assigned a mentor, but I can never find her. If I do track her down, she is always too busy to help me or even set an appointment. I told my manager about this, and he offered no help. What do you suggest?
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We have a good orientation, but lately we have been losing a fairly high number of new hires. We have looked at pay and benefits and other parts of the job, but we cannot figure out what is causing the problem. What do you suggest we do?
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We have been looking for a manager in our credit department, and we put together a list of requirements for this position. We interviewed some strong candidates, but the senior vice president over our group brought in his own candidate and insisted we hire her. She is not qualified at all. I am very busy, but I am supposed to train her. I think it is a waste of time because she is going to fail anyhow. What should I do?
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I have been with this company for a couple of weeks, and most of the discussions include acronyms that are specific to the company but are a mystery to me. I donít like to interrupt a conversation ten times to understand what is being said, but if I donít, I have no idea what to do. How do I get through this?
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I have an employee who is performing poorly, and it looks like I will have to terminate him. Are there any last-ditch efforts you suggest before terminating someone?
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I was recently awarded a position at my workplace, in healthcare. It expands into a different area for me after being in my old position for nine years. To make a long story short, my trainer has been there a few years longer than me, and has been doing the job that I am to be trained in for about three years now. This person was at one time a beginner as well, yet expects me to grab a totally new concept almost immediately after explaining it. If I make an error, I'm reminded by my trainer how critical it is that all information that I input be accurate. I get that!! I know how critical this job is and I'm up to the challenge. However when I'm met with critical and condescending comments and "attitude," it is very discouraging. Just when I'm feeling like I'm doing well (I am given a bit of praise for my progress), I get shot down with a negative/critical comment or behaviour. I don't mind being worked hard when I'm learning new things. I learn better with positive encouragement and attitudes. I relax more and my mind becomes open and more able to grab the new tasks. How do I go into my second week of training and be patient with myself and not take the impatient, negative attitude personally? I'm not one of those people who are awesome right off the bat. Thanks for reading my message!
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