Thoughts on Mentoring

(From a 200 words or less mentoring statement I was asked to provide for AAC&U’s 2015 PKAL Summer Leadership Institute for STEM Faculty)

I value both sides of mentoring—learning from others (being the mentee) and teaching others (being the mentor)—and the key words that describe the foundations for my approach to mentoring are relationship, commitment, and trust.

Relationship: Mentoring occurs when anyone with experience in a particular field takes interest in helping another person explore and succeed in that field. Mentoring occurs along a continuum from informal to formal and may involve individuals in any combination of roles: peer to peer, more experienced to less experienced, and less experienced to more experienced.

Commitment: A mentoring relationship requires commitment to both purposeful conversations and the sharing of personal experience. Mentoring also requires a commitment to create the time and space to share and reflect on experiences in a way that supports learning and growth.

Trust: The sharing of personal experience requires an environment of trust. The mentoring relationship must provide confidentiality as well as opportunities for both mentor and mentee to safely expand their understandings and boundaries.

Share your passions, engage your mentees/mentors, make it meaningful.

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