Faculty at all career stages benefit from strategies designed to maintain and increase their productivity and joy in their careers. One of the most important of those strategies is mentoring.
Mentoring is not dependent on personality, but rather on tasks and activities that the mentor and mentee do together. Early and enduring mentoring is most beneficial; mentoring pairs/teams continue to meet regularly and progress when given "nudging."
Effective mentoring allows connections to be strengthen for both mentors and mentees in various ways. According to Webster, a mentor is a "trusted counselor or guide", this means the primary guideline of interactions during this process should rest upon leadership and beneficial counseling. The appropriate time and location is vital when mentoring occurs.
Mentors and mentees may want to consider:
Meeting at a quaint location (coffeehouse, go for a relaxing walk, or meet in a remote area in library)
Mentor and mentee taking notes during interaction
Discussing key points and opinions that occurred during the interaction
View related TED talk or documentary together
Have conversation regarding TED talk or documentary previously watched
Always keep in mind, the most important aspect of mentoring is for both individuals to gain beneficial knowledge resulting from mentoring.
Seek out a mentor who has the ability to take you out of your comfort zone. A good mentor does not allow you stay in your comfort zone. Always keep in mind that a good mentor is there to continuously encourage you to keep pushing to improve yourself and your abilities.
Seek a mentor who is willing to become familiar with your strengths and weaknesses. It is vital to find a mentor who will complement them and continuously motivate you to be better. It may be helpful to have a mentor who has a completely different knowledge and skill sets from yourself.
I have obtained the best person to be my mentor, now what? Now is the time for you to figure out the best strategies to make proper use of your mentor. First thing first, always remember to stay true to who you are. It is important to remain open and allow your mentor the ability to probe into your life to get a better understanding of who you really are. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO OPEN YOURSELF UP!
Do not be afraid of asking your mentor questions no matter how invasive to intense you may think they are. Understand that the conversation may not always go exactly the way you may want it to. Learn how to accept that fact and remain open to your mentor.
This is the point in your mentor or mentee experience to admit if the relationship is not I line with your goals. Mentee, do not be afraid to ask your mentor if there is another connection they can recommend to you in order to fulfill your goals. Mentors, do not be afraid to admit there may be another connection that can be more beneficial than yourself.
YES, YOU CAN HAVE MORE THAN ONE MENTOR.