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How to Get the Most Out of Your Mentoring Relationship Amy Paller and Bethanee Schlosser Department of Dermatology Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern.

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Presentation on theme: "How to Get the Most Out of Your Mentoring Relationship Amy Paller and Bethanee Schlosser Department of Dermatology Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Get the Most Out of Your Mentoring Relationship Amy Paller and Bethanee Schlosser Department of Dermatology Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern University Chicago, IL

2 Formal mentorship has been critical in our careers Being in the right place at the right time Knowing your strengths and preferences… and seeking an intentional mentor elsewhere Influencing decisions at those “forks in the road” Relations with mentors/mentees are often long- term Being both a mentor and a mentee continues lifelong

3 The Importance of Mentors: Medical School GO TO CHICAGO to train with Dr. Nan Esterly Dr. Al Jacobs: StanfordDr. Diane Thiboutot: Penn State Get you “turned on to an area” and educate about options CONSIDER DERM…and specialize in acne

4 The Importance of Mentors: Residency Training Teach clinical skills, modeling –Patient interaction –Documenting, photos –Questioning, discourse –Writing to share ideas Excitement about research –Considering the why –Posing hypotheses and experimentation to prove them Team of mentors Dr. Nan Esterly - Northwestern Dr. Bob Swerlick - Emory Dr. Ruth Freinkel - Northwestern

5 The Importance of Mentors: Fellowship Training and 1 st Job Dr. Al Briggiman - Univ. of North Carolina Teach research skills Teach clinical expertise Career counseling Dr. Libby Edwards – Southeast Vulvar Dermatology Clinic

6 The Importance of Mentors: Decision-Making About Career Moves Team of 5 mentors: Chairs and Deans who were former chairs Within/outside of institution, academic and community practice All were generous with their time and guided decision-making Still have mentors – sometimes confer daily

7 The Relationship Commitment of time and energy is 2-way Both mentor and mentee must be enthusiastic about the relationship No conflict of interest Possess the skills to mentor –Listening –Managing time well –Being a role model –Knowing when to mentor and when to coach –Understanding when to stop or to change focus

8 The Many Hats of a Mentor… Fan Advisor Role Model Confidant Match- maker Cheer- leader

9 To be a successful mentor you must… Be accessible Make time for interactions: schedule them and prioritize them Know your mentee: recognize strengths and weaknesses; personality differences Nurture mentee strengths and creativity Expect excellence Be a sponsor

10 To be a successful mentor you must… Gain trust: confidential discussions Empathize and be able to show personal vulnerability Be a role model Teach but don’t preach: coaching Be a stabilizing influence during transitions (personal and career) Help to build a team of mentors, recognize your own limitations

11 Mentoring can take place anywhere Private formal meetings –Have them frequently enough and for long enough duration to be meaningful Depends on needs of mentee (q wk to quarterly) More frequent meetings early in relationship Meetings are sacred Open-door policy for informal meetings

12 Structure of Formal Sessions Cannot be short commitment: emphasize upfront need for extended timeframe for growth Important to get to know mentee, understand background (personal and career) and goals –Get involved together in activities that promote mentee’s development –If prior relationship that could detract, redefine new goals of relationship upfront Each session should have an agenda set by the mentee: What has been accomplished? What are issues? What are goals before next session? Periodically review mentee portfolio Keep record of discussion

13 Agenda items.. Specific issues and topics that promote mentee development What do I need for promotion? How and when to say “no” Finding a niche Making changes along the way There’s not enough time in the day!.. Juggling career and family Personal issue –Difficult relationships (diplomacy) –Marital or family-related –Emotional or psychological problem –------ may need referral to a professional

14 Mentoring Can Take Place Anywhere Local meetings –Encourage active role in grand rounds –Introduce and promote with colleagues in other departments and with local societies –Early leadership responsibilities at local level National and international meetings –When introducing, say something memorable and ideally that promotes career –Nominate to give talks, committees, promote development (eg AAD Leadership and Mentorship) –Role as co-organizer in a meeting

15 Dos and Don’ts Have a calm, positive session for junior faculty mentee Ask brief, open ended questions to engage and gather facts Be an “empathetic listener” in discussions Establish trust and build self-confidence Show enthusiasm; be a role model Provide constructive, supportive feedback Reveal vulnerability: discuss personal struggles and solutions

16 Dos and Don’ts Be quick to propose solutions; think together and encourage mentee to problem solve Shoot down ideas without careful thought Set up a competition Question the mentee’s judgment or experience Confront or accuse Try to tackle difficult personal problems that are best handled by a psychologist or other professional Prolong an unsuccessful relationship: know limits

17 To be a successful mentee you must… Commit time, energy and effort Have determination to succeed: greater effort will likely lead to greater gains Be open to constructive criticism, alternative perspectives and approaches Have interpersonal maturity Be self-confident and willing to challenge yourself

18 How to Get Started Find a mentor Clarify your values, find commonalities Define your mission Discuss immediate goals for mentee, mentor Set some ground rules – what is off limits? Set up a formal meeting schedule Dr. Mary Maloney

19 Maximizing Your ADLP Experience “Meet” regularly – once a month Give your full attention – remove all distractions Have agenda of 1-2 items for each meeting Do your homework, follow-through Listen – to the good, the bad and the ugly Deal with real-life issues

20 How to Recognize When Things Aren’t Going So Well… Missed meetings Lack of follow-through Nothing more to say Breach of confidentiality Crossing the line; off-limit topics Just not a great match

21 What NOT to do When Things Aren’t Going So Well…

22 What to DO When Things Aren’t Going So Well… Don’t ignore early warning signs Talk openly and honestly about what is not working Develop contract for change with timeline for re- evaluation Don’t fall off the face of the Earth End the relationship with good will Ask who might be a better match

23 Conclusions Getting the most out of mentorship means establishing a two-way commitment and clear goals from the start Ultimately, mentoring is a learning experience for both the mentor and the mentee ADLP participation provides opportunity for significant personal and professional growth


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