Reflecting to resolve workload through mentor using open questions

CHORTENS workshop day 3 group activity provided me a lesson to reflect and feel the importance of a mentor. They assigned each group to resolve the problem of workload through the suggestion of a mentor. In our group, Dr. Frank is a mentee who is finding his workload is unmanageable. He explains to his mentor Dr. Chencho that over the last two years their responsibilities have increased and now feels that was barely coping. He is working longer hours to manage, but this is not a long-term solution and he is finding that his health is suffering. He is part of a large team and has a line manager and an assistant. The assistant is working to full capacity, and he is keen not to burden them with additional work.

When this scenario is shared to mentor, he acknowledges the hard work and responsibility the mentee had a handle. Realising and learning the challenges that mentee face, mentor listened to opinion and suggested Frank is there any way forward. Mentor asked the open question; how else could you approach that? What other options do you have?

Frank then quickly used buttons nod to explain the way to resolve the challenges and presented it to his mentor. He suggested that one more additional staff need to recruit for smooth and equal distribution of work in his department. He reasons out that staff available were already burdened with additional work, and he does not want them to suffer.  

However, his mentor found out that whatever mentee proposed would resolve the problem he faced that. But the mentor was skeptical about a suggestion since the organisation is already tight of a budget. He pointed out that we will discuss thoroughly it and whatever obstacles that need to address to make sure this step gets done. I felt this approach from the mentee is helpful for the manager/mentor to incorporate plan in an organisation.  This a message to take home and apply in our workplace to communicate with mentor/manager.

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