What are some things that I can do to be an effective mentor?

Jean Emans, MD
Mary Ellen Avery Professor of Pediatrics
2008 William Silen Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award

 

 

 

 

What are some things that I can do to be an effective mentor?

Learn about mentoring from the terrific materials on HMS, Boston  Children’s Hospital, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital websites and attend HMS and hospital courses or seminars on mentoring.  Self-reflection is an essential skill, so I recommend mapping your own Developmental Networks.

  • Commit to devoting sufficient time to the mentoring relationship
  • Set mutual expectations and responsibilities at the onset of the relationship including type and frequency of meetings, and how best to communicate with each other.  Make sure your mentee knows that he/she needs to be in charge of setting the agenda for each meeting and emailing to you 1 or 2 days before the meeting
  • Express interest in the mentee’s career trajectory, mutually set realistic short and long term goals and discuss the timing of the skills/deliverables needed to progress to the next level
  • Open doors, if possible, to challenging assignments, key committee memberships, and other opportunities and introduce your mentee to important contacts
  • Provide constructive feedback and advice, including how to negotiate more effectively
  • Respect and accept gender, racial/ethnic, generational and other differences
  • Be a role model, demonstrating the highest personal and professional standards, not just in what you say, but also in what you do
  • Take advantage of resources and/or mentors such as Children’s Community of Mentors materials including  the 2014-2015 Guidelines for Mentors, the 2014-2015 OFD Guidelines for Junior Faculty and guidance on Annual Career Conferences.

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