Virtual Café 6/23/2020
Making the Most of being a Mentor and Mentee

Characteristics of the effective mentor:

1. Accessible
2. Professional integrity
3. Approachable
4. Supportive and encouraging
5. Provides constructive and useful critiques
6. Motivates mentee to improve work product
7. Provides professional direction (networking)
8. Answers questions satisfactory (timely, clear, comprehensive)
9. Acknowledges mentee’s contributions
10. Suggests resources, including other people
11. Challenges to extend abilities (risk-taking)

Ref: Berk, RA et al. Measuring the effectiveness of faculty mentoring relationships. Academic Medicine 2005;80 (1):66-71

The 10 most important elements in developing a mentoring program:

10. There is active, meaningful support from leadership
9. There are clearly articulated program goal, policies and a program structure
8. There is accountability and clear expectations for mentors and mentees
7. The program is directed by a trained, motivated and credible leader
6. There is an orientation to the program and training of mentors and mentees
5. The program orchestrates frequency of contact between mentors and mentees
4. The program is designed using an evidence-based approach
3. There are awards and recognition for mentor and mentee participation
2. The program, mentors and mentees are evaluated on a periodic basis
1. The program is fun and engaging for YOU.   

Ref: Elza Mylona (summary from literature).

Mentoring – Create a relationship to connect, reflect, network and develop professionally in which mentors and mentees grow both Mentors and Mentees grow.

General areas discussed:

  • Advising vs Mentoring vs Coaching
  • Different types of mentoring (one to one, team, peer-mentoring etc.)
  • Informal vs formal mentoring

Characteristics of effective mentoring programs
Fine Family Academy of Educators - a resource for mentoring of educators

Discussion points:

Is Advising Mentoring:

  • Coaching/Advising are two different things
  • Advising relationships may grow into a mentoring relationship. The two can go hand in hand.
  • The two relationships are different. Many times a mentee finds a connection to someone who would be a good mentor for them depending on their needs. Sometime it works the other way around – someone offers to be a mentor for someone they want to work with.
  • Coaching is someone short term to work on specific issues or questions. No need to have expertise in the discipline.
  • Progressive mentoring supports professional development.
  • There is a need for mentoring across the institution, at different career levels and with different mentors.
  • An individual can have different mentors for different areas of development.
  • What are mentees looking for? Both institutional and outside mentors might be helpful.
  • Mentoring can be short or long term

What is included in mentoring?
Commitment to the relationship, the relationship needs structure, understand what is needed.

Check to see if it’s working:

  • There should be a match in availability and personality
  • Matching is a challenge, sometimes difficult to deal with personalities

How does one find a mentor:

  • The desire must be there, identify the skills needed.
  • Once a mentor is found, a contract helps – it can define the role and objectives.
  • Peers may make good mentors
  • Evaluators/supervisors not always good mentors, but are sometimes helpful
  • Multiple mentors have different strengths – different mentors for different needs of the individual.
  • Someone who will provide insight and direction for professional development
  • A contract
  • Someone who has long term success characteristics
  • Colleagues as mentors
  • Know what you are looking for – career advice, navigating institutional politics, issues beyond the professional role
  • A formal contract may not be needed – regular meetings necessary

Additional Comments:

The Fine Family Academy of Educators will be creating a Peer Mentoring program focused on the professional and personal development of Educators.