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Mentoring Mastery - Passing on Skills You "Just Do"

Regardless of whether or not you have any "direct reports" in your organisation you may well find yourself responsible for mentoring other colleagues on testing techniques. The problem is - how do you teach skills that have become second nature for yourself. We're often so busy focusing on improving our testing that we don't develop techniques and soft skills for passing on those learnings to junior testers, non-testing colleagues or new starters.

We want you to leave this tutorial with confidence that you can successfully mentor colleagues and a number of techniques to facilitate your mentoring, such as:

  • Where's my motivation: it's not just film star divas that need to find their motivation before acting out a scene.
  • Learning will always be more successful if a mentee is motivated, and to be brutally honest there are some aspects of testing (actually some aspects of any discipline) that are dull and not in any way motivating.
  • Don't feed the mentee: It is all too easy to fall into the trap of providing answers or simply telling a mentee about a topic, unfortunately humans are very bad at retaining that kind of information and we will demonstrate this with a quick game that you can take back to work with you.
  • Imitate, Assimilate & Innovate: Our mentees will go through various stages of learning and our mentoring will need to change tack accordingly. Using role play techniques we will encourage you to frame the subject matter appropriately to maximise learning potential.
  • Role reversal: Encouraging the good grace needed when your mentee succeeds and becomes more knowledgeable than you in a subject area - time to start mentoring them on mentoring.


We will use a combination of role play, games and written exercises to work through these learnings. Activities will be varied to work with the variety of learning styles that humans display.

Key takeaways:

  • Improved empathy in dealing with challenging situations
  • Discovery of, and immersion in, different learning styles (seeing/hearing/reading/doing)
  • Practice of practical communication skills that work in fast-paced and agile environments
  • Use of clean language to explore the underlying situation behind a mentees request for help
  • Finding and maintaining common ground for a 2-way mentor-mentee relationship