I've been recently asked by my manager to start mentoring new employees. I'm seen as one of the more productive and technical employees but I'm an individual contributor (and happy with that), and I think this is a way to have me spread the knowledge so to speak. I have no problem with q&a sessions with new employees, or helping out in general, but I find arranged mentorships to be kind of awkward. How can I express to my boss that I'm not interested in doing this without rustling any feathers?
I would go with something like:
Hey boss, not to ruffle any feathers here but mentoring is out of my comfort zone. I'm fine doing Q&A sessions of helping out in general but I find arranged mentorships to be kind of awkward. I see my career path as being a long term individual contributor so developing the management skills that mentoring builds really doesn't fit with where I want to go. There are others on the team who would get much more out of this opportunity than me.
I dislike mentoring, so I'm just honest with the manager.
'I don't want to do any mentoring, I don't know how to and I'm no good at teaching.'
Usually they then give it to someone else. If they insist then there's not much you can do about it. But I've never had them insist. I've had them try and talk me into it in which case I just refuse.