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“When you’ve followed these guidelines and you’ve develop a relationship with somebody,
I have gotten as much back as I have given.
I don’t ever, ever, ever feel like I’ve given away and just been drained.
I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t rewarding. I always get something back.”
– Bev Voth
“The times I have worked with someone much younger than me,
it’s a different perspective, and you’ll find surprises that you wouldn’t
get if you typically spend your time with people of your same cohort…
I’m providing some guidance and I will find that they surprise me
with the things they know that I don’t.”
– Lisette Wilson
What it Means to be a Mentor
A mentor is someone who supports and guides a member of the community to grow technically, professionally, and personally by referring her to the right people and/or resources, enabling her to find her own success, as well as encouraging and building confidence to push beyond her perceived limits.
- Establish a recurring schedule to meet 1:1, to keep a consistent cadence.
- Set expectations early, such as communication style, time commitments, etc.
- Set measurable goals with deadlines.
- Pass along any interesting or challenging materials you come across.
- Both parties should prepare a list of questions or topics before meetings.
- Discuss current project work and any roadblocks.
- Assign “homework” when applicable.
- Whenever possible, help her find the answer instead of giving her the answer. “Emphasize questions over advice giving. Use probes that help your protégé think more broadly and deeply.” – The Center for Health Leadership & Practice
- Key mentoring skills: Listen Actively, Build Trust, Determine Goals and Build Capabilities, Encourage & Inspire (Guide for Mentors)
- Be a trusted advisor.
- Ask for feedback on how the mentorship and/or process can improve.
- Have fun!