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Back to Basics: Defining mentoring and its building blocks Dr. Harley E. Flack Student Mentoring Program Rowan University Prepared by Gardy Guiteau Assistant.

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Presentation on theme: "Back to Basics: Defining mentoring and its building blocks Dr. Harley E. Flack Student Mentoring Program Rowan University Prepared by Gardy Guiteau Assistant."— Presentation transcript:

1 Back to Basics: Defining mentoring and its building blocks Dr. Harley E. Flack Student Mentoring Program Rowan University Prepared by Gardy Guiteau Assistant Director of Mentoring and Academic Enrichment Adapted from The Mentor’s Guide by L. Zachary and Students Helping Students by S. Edner & F. Newton

2 Introductions and Ice Breaker General Introductions - Please tell us your name, major, class level, and what you hope to get out of this training. Concentric Circles - In concentric circles please take 2 minutes per person to answer the following questions: 1.What does mentoring mean to you? 2.Have you ever had a mentor? If yes, who? If no, why do you think you have not? 3.Is mentoring important to college students? Why? 4.What made you interested in becoming a peer-mentor in this mentoring program? 5.How much energy do you think it takes to be a peer- mentor?

3 Agenda Introductions and Ice Breaker Learning Objectives of the training Defining the role of a Peer-Mentor Developing a Mentoring Self Understanding your mentee Supporting mentees through common challenges Lunch Confidentiality and building a Mentoring Relationship Effective Communication and Active Listening Using campus resources and developing referral skills Closing and Evaluations

4 Learning Objectives of this Training After completing this training you will be able to: Define the role of a peer-mentor and list 3 qualities of a successful peer-mentor. Understand the importance of self-awareness to the mentoring role. Explain the personal, social and contextual changes that first year students experience. Describe some of the personal and academic challenges that their mentees face. Identify support systems that can be put in place to help mentees overcome their challenges. Understand the importance of confidentiality, trust, and empathy to the development of good mentoring relationships. Demonstrate the skills of active listening and giving constructive feedback. List at least four situations in which they should refer their mentees to professional support services on campus.

5 The Role of A Peer-Mentor A peer-mentor serves as: A special and trusting person who, knowing more through experience, commits their time, attention and energy to assist a less knowing peer. A facilitator who creates and maintains an environment that is conducive to the learning of their mentee. A facilitator of learning in such a way that knowledge, skills, or abilities connect to action in the present and possibility in the future. A developer of a mentoring relationship based on learning during which the mentee will grow more responsible and independent. A role model who is admired, observed, and emulated for their special qualities by their peers.

6 Developing a Mentoring Self Strong mentoring relationships start with a mentor who has a “clear understanding of their own personal journey” (Zachary 2000). To be a successful peer-mentor is to be clear and aware of one’s own challenges and to be willing and able to share them with one’s mentee. As a role model peer-mentors must be willing to allow others to bear witness to the way that they approach choice, challenges and opportunities. Individually please complete the Journey Timeline, then in groups of four please discuss your individual timeline. Hand-out

7 Understanding your Mentee: Being aware of the life changes “Students in the traditional college age group… make many changes in how they think, how they feel, what they believe, what they value, and how they act in the world” (Ender & Newton 2000). As a peer-mentor, understanding that your mentees (as you did and continue to do) are going through significant life changes will help you in taking an active role in helping them positively adjust to those changes. Crucial to understanding your mentees is a general understanding of how student growth occurs and in what situations.

8 Understanding your Mentee: Some key terminology Understanding how student growth occurs requires an understanding of how some common terms relate to one another. Challenge occurs in one or more areas of personal and social life and arises from new or changing circumstances. Dissonance refers to an experience of discomfort and anxiety when the status quo is disrupted. Crisis describes periods when a person faces an important decision point. Change refers to alterations that occur over time in student thinking, feeling, and doing. Development describes a series of changes that people typically experience over the course of a lifetime. Growth implies the presumption of a progressive direction as one moves toward maturity with greater complexity, differentiation, and integration. Maturation implies the movement is occurring toward the next higher level of development.

9 Understanding your Mentee: Five key principles of student growth All of your mentees will be in the process of facing challenges that cause dissonance or crises which if resolved will lead to maturation. This growth is guided by five principles: Principle 1: Student growth and development occurs as a result of pressure from the environment. Principle 2: Maturation is a process that is gradual and happens as a result of successful resolution of different crises. Principle 3: Maturation is a cumulative process where students move from simple development to more complex self understanding. Principle 4: Students develop at different rate and by individually unique means. Principle 5: In each phase of maturation, a student must master certain skills, knowledge, or behaviors so that they can successfully move on to the next phase.

10 Understanding Common College Student Challenges Personal Adjustment challenges are created by the simple fact that college is a new experience involving a new environment, new people, and new responsibilities. Intellectual and Academic challenges are those related to declaring a major, signing up for courses, and overcoming limitations. Physical challenges include students’ concerns about their physical appearance or competence. Interpersonal challenges initially focus around finding a group to belong to and later involves expressing and managing feelings in relationships. Career and Lifestyle challenges involve anxiety around making decisions that may have long-term consequences on their lives. Hand-out

11 Supporting Mentees through Challenges Take a genuine interest in mentee’s personal situation. Help student become aware of all of their options. Provide avenues by which students can explore alternative options. Model problem solving strategies with your mentee. Help mentees think critically about their situation by giving useful feedback. Be proactive by inviting mentees to participate in events and activities that will help them personally and academically.

12 Lunch Break Lunch is being provided. We will break for 30 minutes. As we are on a tight schedule, if you have to leave the building, please make sure that you return on time.

13 Building the Mentoring Relationship: Four stages of the mentoring Good mentors are those who recognize and use the knowledge that mentoring relationships develop in the following cyclical stages: Preparing: This stage involves both mentor and mentee getting clear about why they are engaging one another and if they are ready and able to do so. Negotiating: In this stage the mentor and mentee set ground rules or terms of engagement to which they mutually agree. Mentoring: It is during this stage that the bulk of the work of nurturing and supporting the mentee’s growth and development as a student occurs. Closing: This stages involves evaluating, acknowledging, and celebrating successes; this stage is in itself an evolutionary process.

14 Building the Mentoring Relationship: Confidentiality is key A breach in confidentiality is sometimes one of the key reasons why a mentoring relationship falls apart. It is crucial that you develop some clear confidentiality guidelines with your mentee. But talking with a mentee about confidentiality can feel awkward and unnatural. The following are some effective ways of doing so: ▫Approach the conversation from a place of establishing mutual respect. ▫Start by asking your mentee how they define confidentiality. ▫Complete an Assumption Testing Checklist about confidentiality with your mentee. Hand-out

15 Building the Mentoring Relationship: Time Matters Successful mentoring relationships require that both peer-mentors and mentees commit adequate time to allow for the establishing, building, and sustaining of the mentoring relationships. This then requires the following in terms of time: Committing to be a peer-mentor means being ready to block off a realistic amount of time to spend with each mentee. It is necessary that both mentor and mentee invest in being in contact regularly in the initial stages of the partnership. Creating mentoring meeting times that allow you and your mentee to not be rushing in or out of the meeting. Hand-out

16 Developing Key Mentoring Skills: Effective helping communication Advice Giving Effective Helping Communication Does not take much time. No problem exploration happens. Puts the peer-mentor in the “Expert” role and only speak from their own perspective. Does not require much personal or emotional energy. Does not require a great deal of skill or communication of understanding and empathy from the giver. Does not allow the mentee to take ownership and responsibility of resolving their problem. Have no limitations. Time consuming. Underlying concerns or issues are investigated and dealt with. The mentee is regarded as the expert on their feelings and beliefs on the matter. Requires investment of personal and emotional energy. Requires development of skills and faculties such as active listening, giving effective feedback, respect, and empathy. Allows mentees to become agents of their own lives and to develop responsibility and independence. Requires peer-mentors to, at times, refer mentees to professionals.

17 Developing Key Mentoring Skills : Active Listening Pay attention – Give your mentee your undivided attention. ▫Maintain eye contact. ▫Put aside distracting thoughts. Don’t mentally prepare a rebuttal! ▫Avoid being distracted by environmental factors. Show that you are listening – Use body language and gestures to convey your attention. ▫Nod occasionally. ▫Smile and use other facial expressions. Provide feedback – Our personal filters, assumptions, judgments, and beliefs can distort what we hear. As a listener, your role is to understand what is being said. This may require you to reflect what is being said and ask questions. ▫Ask questions to clarify certain points. “What do you mean when you say…” “Is this what you mean?” ▫Summarize the speaker’s comments periodically. Suspend Judgment – Interrupting is a waste of time. It frustrates the people when they are trying explaining themselves and limits full understanding of the message. ▫Allow the mentee to finish his or her sentences. ▫Don’t interrupt with counterarguments. Respond Appropriately – Active listening is a model for respecting and understanding your mentee. The point is to gaining information and perspective. ▫Be candid, open, and honest in your responses. ▫Assert your opinions respectfully. ▫Treat the other person like you would want to be treated

18 Developing Key Mentoring Skills: Giving effective feedback Feedback is information about performance that leads to action to affirm or develop performance. It is as much about reinforcing effective and strong performance as it is about identifying areas of potential improvement. The outcome of the feedback process should be someone who is engaged, energized and motivated to strive for increased performance. Feedback is based on a series of cycles of: ▫Presenting a clear and specific summary of observation of behavior. ▫Describing the impact of the behavior on others, or the situation, or how it made the observer feel. ▫Discussing the implications of that behavior in day- to-day situations. Hand-out

19 Developing Key Mentoring Skills: Making referrals – When to refer It can be difficult to determine when to refer a student to another resource. This pressure can lead to a tendency to give quick advice or offering a solution by providing a suggestion out of your own repertoire. Often your own solution may not be the answer to your mentee’s concerns and a quick referral may feel like a brush-off or the beginning of a run-around. So what you want to do as a peer-mentor is: Listen carefully ▫The first, and often the most important step, is to listen carefully and clearly so as to understand what the individual needs in the way of assistance. ▫Remember as a peer you are perceived as an approachable, friendly source to ask for assistance. Your support, encouragement, and guidance may be sufficient to help an individual figure out what to do, but there will be times when the student’s concern is beyond your knowledge. This is the point when you consider referral. Know you limits ▫The second most important item regarding referrals is to know your own limits for giving assistance. ▫Trying to help a student with a serious problem when you posses minimum skill and experience can do more harm than good. So when in doubt, refer the student to a more qualified resource. Seek Consultation ▫This step is for the helper to seek a consultation with a knowledgeable resource person to find out about options for the student being helped. ▫The student being assisted would first be informed that you, as a peer mentor would like to consult with another source that can give suggestions or input as to the next step in assistance. ▫By clarifying what you are seeking from consultation and getting the student’s consent, you are enabling the student to be informed and in control of this process. ▫When seeking consultation assistance, it is important to have clear and complete information about the needs of the student you are representing.

20 Developing Key Mentoring Skills: Making referrals – How to refer When you refer someone to another resource, you want the referral to be seen as welcome assistance and not some sort of brush off. So be honest, direct and straightforward in your recommendation. Explain in a clear and open manner why you feel it is desirable or necessary to make a referral. Beyond honesty you need to do the following: Become knowledgeable ▫Explain fully the services that can be obtained from the resource agency or person you are recommending. ▫Provide confirming data about how the referral source can be useful and describe the sources qualifications or capabilities. ▫This information can be reassuring to the student so that they will receive the help they need. Demonstrate Respect ▫Allow the student to assume responsibility and control in making a contact or appointment. ▫Student initiation and follow-up enhance commitment and promote a sense of independence in taking charge of the situation. Personalize the referral process ▫It can be useful to give the student the name of a particular person who can be a direct contact. ▫This will personalize and make the experience seem less intimidating. Be carefully though, it may be best not to provide the name of anyone who may be hard to contact or may seem less available that a general referral. Hand-out

21 Revisiting your Mentoring Self In groups of two: Based on what you know now about student growth, the areas in which they face challenges, and factors that influence change and development, please revisit your Journey Time Line. Does this new knowledge shed new light on your own journey as a student? Are you now able to identify some new markers in your time line that you did not think of before? How, if at all, are you thinking about your journey differently now based on this information? Do you now see more ways by which you can share your past and current challenges and how you dealt or are dealing with them?

22 Closing and Evaluation Go Around: Thinking back on what you hoped that you would learn at the beginning of the day to now, did you learn what you hoped? Did you learn something different. Complete Training Evaluation


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