Be a Mentor, Not a Critic

This quote was posted on twitter last week and really stuck with me, "Be a mentor, not a critic." I don’t remember who posted it, but it really made me think about my attitude at work.

I like to think of myself as a mentor. I try to help others become better developers. I make it my mission at work to teach and instruct every chance I can. When I do so, however, I can often be critical. I can easily resort to tearing people down by criticizing their code rather than building them up by encouraging them and teaching them. There is a huge difference between the two, and I need to constantly remind myself of this.

It makes me think of how Jesus could hang out with prostitutes and sinners, yet still be a mentor and guide for them. He demonstrated what was right by his life, and told them what was right in his speech, but he never pointed the finger at them. These people wanted to be with him, even though his life and teaching showed them that their lives were wrong. He was a positive influence on them, without being directly critical of them. He told them the truth when necessary, but did so with love.

So I have to ask myself, am I building people up, or tearing them down? And I ask you the same question. I challenge you to make it a priority to join with me and set the criticism aside. Be a positive influence on those around you. Teach others what you know, and learn from others what you do not.

Be a mentor, not a critic.


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