mentoring | career advice | professional development |leadership
By Anthony K. Tjan | February 27, 2017
Harvard Business Review
Mentorship comes in many flavors. It doesn’t always work unless leaders bear in mind a few common principles.
Over the past three years, as part of my forthcoming book, I’ve been researching how leaders can better judge and develop their talent in light of a changing, more purpose-driven, more tech-enabled work environment. Having interviewed close to 100 of the most admired leaders across business, culture, arts, and government, one important characteristic stands out: They do everything they can to imprint their “goodness” onto others in ways that make others feel like fuller versions of themselves. Put another way, the best leaders practice a form of leadership that is less about creating followers and more about creating other leaders. How do they do that? I’ve noticed four things the best mentors do:
Put the relationship before the mentorship. All too often, mentorship can evolve into a “check the box” procedure instead of something authentic and relationship-based. For real mentorship to succeed, there needs to be a baseline chemistry between a mentor and a mentee. Studies show that even the best-designed mentoring programs are no substitute for a genuine, intercollegial relationship between mentor and mentee. One piece of research, conducted by Belle Rose Ragins, a mentoring expert and professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, demonstrated that unless mentees have a basic relationship with their mentors, there is no discernable difference between mentees and those not mentored. All this is to say that mentoring requires rapport. At best, it propels people to break from their formal roles and titles (boss versus employee) and find common ground as people. Read more…
It can be difficult to know the difference between having social anxiety and being awkward, introverted, or shy. The American Psychological Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines social anxiety as “a persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations” that involve being “exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others.”
Modern life provides us with constant opportunities to be scrutinized by others, and while few among us wouldn’t be nervous about giving a work presentation or a speech at a wedding, an ongoing fear of saying the wrong thing in casual conversations can become problematic. Conversation anxiety, though not itself a disorder, is an aspect of social anxiety that can make dates, parties, and mixers anywhere from mildly stressful to intolerable.
Today we consume five times more information every day than we did in 1986, an incredible amount that’s equivalent to a 174 newspapers…a day. That probably includes a lot of Instagram posts, but it’s not only social media. The corporate e-learning space has grown by nine times over the last 16 years, such that almost 80% of U.S. companies offer online training for their employees, making more information accessible to them than ever before.
One would think that this would translate into increased knowledge. Yet, unfortunately, this does not appear to be the case. Scores of average American adults on tests of general civic knowledge — the type of information you’d assume people would pick up from scanning through all this information — has remained almost constant for the last 80 years. On the corporate side, working professionals apply only about 15% of what they learn in many corporate training and development programs in many cases.
We’re consuming more information but not learning more. In short, we have become less productive learners. Read more…
Trying to get a handle on what library technologies LIS professionals need to know can be a challenge, as both the tasks that librarians are taking on – and the tools they’re using to do them – seem to be changing daily.
Nevertheless, it’s especially important for job hunters to be aware of technology skills and knowledge that are in-demand, because increasingly these tools will be central to successful performance of your career.
Two ways to frame key librarian work technologies
When understanding what may be relevant to your career, consider two variables:
Where you work, i.e., whether the employer would be a traditional LIS or non-LIS setting.
The responsibilities and type of work you might be doing for that employer.
Equal parts academic seminar and career coaching, III’s kick-off event June 16 at the Library of Congress put library leaders on call to answer big questions. PLA President Felton Thomas opened by noting, “The traditional stereotype has been evolving for a number of years, but now more than ever, public libraries are providing services—summer lunches, passports, social services—that we couldn’t have imagined 10 years ago. Future librarians must understand that we are going through a generational transition of what it means to be a public librarian.”