Presentation on theme: "Mentorship: A Success Key for Graduate Students PACES Workshop Saturday, Oct 11 th, 2014."— Presentation transcript:
Mentorship: A Success Key for Graduate Students PACES Workshop Saturday, Oct 11 th, 2014
By the end of this session you will understand… The importance of mentorship for your graduate program success The characteristics and qualities that make for a good mentor What qualities you possess/need as a mentee Your goals for graduate education The importance and role of your values and beliefs The issues that may affect the mentor/mentee relationship How to select the right mentor for you What the issues are for you as a mentee How to make mentorship work well for you
What does it take to be successful as a graduate student? Motivation Perseverance Love of learning Good time management Leading a balanced life Financial support Emotional & intellectual support Encouragement Valuable, useful feedback Resilience Others?
How do you access most of these? Family and friends Other students Faculty Other professionals Within yourself How about mentors? Can any or all of these be mentors for you?
Mentorship – what is it? Homer’s Iliad & Odyssey (Mentor was Odysseus’ trusted friend and advisor) What is a mentor? One who is committed to help others achieve: A better understanding of themselves, their place in the world, and their search for meaningful living How does that differ from a “coach” or “advisor?” A coach is someone who helps us acquire skills An advisor is someone who may provide sound guidance but may remain removed or aloof from the individual Mentorship is a role that is more ‘a calling’ than part of one’s job description
Characteristics of a Mentor Respect For a student’s uniqueness as well as capacity and preferred mode of learning A mentor never compromises the student’s dignity Commitment To excellence in process and outcome Demanding Have quality standards; push students to their potential Availability Within reason, at the disposal of their students Students feel welcome to appts; boundaries set clearly
Characteristics of a Mentor Encouraging Motivator through behavior, optimistic outlook, provides explicit encouragement Ethical Mentor is a role model for students; behavior is beyond ethical reproach Trust occurs when students are secure in belief that they will be treated with dignity Philosophical Have ‘big picture’ in mind when counseling Openness Open to discovery, new ways of thinking, to new possibilities
What about characteristics of the Mentee? Respectful Cardinal virtue of any relationship is to respect the other’s dignity If not present relationships deteriorate into mutual use and abuse Committed To course of study and an academic standard of excellence that exceeds the ordinary Passionate Need to have “fire in the belly”; stubbornness not to succumb to challenges Philosophical openness to discovery Needs to take chances; be open to challenges to perspectives
What about characteristics of the Mentee? Ethical Conduct themselves with utmost concern for ethical scholarship & honest interaction with mentor(s) Is it surprising that the characteristics are nearly the same for both the mentor and mentee? Both parties are part of the same relationship Both parties should be ‘on the same page’ Both parties mutually benefit from the relationship
What is the purpose of graduate education? Succeed in completing the degree? To receive as much funding as possible? To publish results? To develop the mentee and mentor to a higher state of cognitive awareness? To facilitate an environment in which the mentor and mentee can flourish? The ultimate goal… To flourish as individuals – better thinkers, better decision- makers, better writers, better professors… better people.
Mentorship Audit: Questions for Students and Professors Do you know yourself? How would you describe yourself to your professor? Take 3-4 minutes to compose your own description… “I am intellectually curious… I appreciate learning new things (skills, knowledge, processes, results, etc.) whether in- or outside of my disciplines. I’m a visual learner and want to know more about the ‘why or how’ than the ‘who or what.’ I value commitment to excellence and try to strive for it whenever possible. I value having a few close friendships over many acquaintances. I don’t suffer foolishness very well, either in ideas or people. I’m more of a ‘loner’ than a ‘joiner’, but I do enjoy working as a team.”
What are potentially critical personal issues that may affect my mentorship? Personality traits (list yours) Work ethic (what’s your level?) Life priorities (list yours, in rank order) What is your background knowledge level? What external issues are important to you? (list yours)
What are my goals and objectives? Beyond completing the degree? (list yours) How do you expect completing the degree will contribute to your over-arching life goals?
What are my values and beliefs? Critical components of who you are Prioritize your life and dictate what is most important to you Allow you to keep life in balance, preventing burnout & distraction Integral parts of what you produce throughout the mentorship process Knowing them in advance will help guide the process, avoid biases, and produce work you’re proud of
Why do I need a mentor? If you see graduate education as more than credentialism, mentorship can be a medium to attain a deeper sense of flourishing A mentor is familiar with alternative paths and whether they lead to success or failure Provides objective insight, advice, and can bolster student’s confidence in the graduate process
What do I look for in a mentor? Expertise in your field of choice Experience in the mentorship process Interests compatible with your own goals Shared values and beliefs Advice: don’t discount compatibility of your personality with that of a possible mentor
Who do I really want and need to go through the journey successfully? Compromises are inevitable Prioritize your list of mentor traits; some may be needed while others are wanted Don’t sacrifice the needed traits Don’t be overly influenced by a mentor’s popularity
What do mentors usually look for in a potential mentee? Top quality?.. Dedication Process of mentorship is long & arduous Involves tremendous investment of energy & time Mentors look for students who are highly committed to their own success Manifested as knowing his/herself and having clarity of purpose Next, having compatible interests and personalities
Advice for Your First Meeting For the mentor… Can take the initiative in describing their beliefs and values to the student Values, beliefs, and vision in life feed one’s passion Guidance, experience, and advice help clarify priorities For the mentee… Share your beliefs, values, and commitment to the process Communicate what you need and want out of the mentorship in order to meet your long-term goal(s)
Before leaving the meeting you need to know… Your respective rights and responsibilities in topic selection, committee selection, timely submission and response to student writing Regular meeting times, reports, and feedback When and where the next meeting should be What the student needs to prepare and produce before the next meeting What the mentor needs to provide at the next meeting Let each other know how you feel about your first meeting
Mentorship Issues for Professors View issues and problems as challenges and opportunities Find/build common interests Mentoring students is not for the purpose of advancing your career Socratic ignorance (‘knowing that you don’t know it all’) Mentoring is a process to build confidence and esteem, as well as giving to others and acknowledging weaknesses Socratic questioning (answer questions with questions) Don’t ‘fix’ everything or ‘take care of’ the mentee Listen… and listen with empathy and compassion Set achievable goals and realistic expectations
Mentorship Issues for Professors Be like bamboo – firm & flexible Know when to be firm and when to allow bending of the rules Leap ahead Help mentee remove or go around the barriers (emotional, financial, academic, relationship, procedures, etc.) Sometimes students need a gentle hand to push and/or pull Share your knowledge, skills, and experiences with the mentee Research shows that employees who have a close relationship with their supervisor are 2.5 times more likely to be satisfied with their job
Issues for Students as Mentees What are my own responsibilities? Be an eager and active participant in your own academic development Seek out new information, ideas, develop a critical thinking style Keep a journal of your reflections How could I help my mentor to help me? Have a clear idea of what it is that you would like to see develop from your relationship Explicitly communicate your personal and professional goals Be clear as to the goals of your mentor
Issues for Students as Mentees What constitutes a healthy debate? Both parties are active listeners and respond to each other’s comments in a respectful and thoughtful manner Maintenance and expression of mutual respect No obligation to agree with mentor, and differences in opinion can lead to productive, healthy discussion When should I hold my ground? Reaching an impasse based on fundamental differences in values or beliefs… ideally, two people agree to disagree Opens up opportunity for conflict resolution
What happens when conflict(s) cannot be resolved? Discuss how both the mentee and mentor would like to proceed beyond an impasse If emotions become involved, a cooling off period may be required before proceeding If still in conflict, an outside mediator may be required A mutually-respected 3 rd -party
In summary… A mentorship relationship can substantially add to the experience of graduate education, a process and outcome that benefits students and faculty alike The quality of the experience can ‘make or break’ the potential for a lasting professional relationship, so ‘shop wisely’ Not every mentor is right for every student (and vice versa) ‘Goodness of fit’ should feel right to both parties Mutual respect is key Relationships are organic, ever changing and maturing Provide important developmental steps to degree success Source of lasting memories and satisfaction of helping others
Questions? Please complete a session evaluation before you leave & enjoy the rest of the weekend!