Mentoring is a great way to create a skilled crew and encourage camaraderie and sharing on the jobsite. Though oftentimes the mentor relationship focuses on the younger employee's work ethic, the mentor's attitude is just as important, because it can affect the student's view of construction as a career.

Here are some of the qualities a mentor should have.

Optimism. Having a positive outlook about your own job and company is a must. A negative attitude will discourage those new to the field.

Patience. The skill level of a new carpenter will progress at a speed that is directly related to the time a mentor takes to explain and teach.

Flexibility. Most people believe that their student will learn the way they did — usually by watching and working at the same time. This is not true for all students. It is helpful if the mentor has the ability to recognize and apply the best method for each student.

Attitude. A mentor must want the role. Someone who is forced to teach a new carpenter will fail. Find and encourage those in your company who have a natural affinity for teaching and mentoring. —Tim Faller, Field Training Services,

For more information: Mentoring Part 2