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Questions about mentoring

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1 Questions about mentoring
Think of an ideal mentor from your past. What made them so effective? What are some strategies to avoid as a mentor? Where can you find a mentor? We’ll probably be able to remove this since Robin made us a new slide 1

2 Mentoring Graduate Students and Postdocs: Considerations for Future Faculty
Laura Harrington – Associate Professor, Entomology, Cornell University Christine Holmes – Director of Postdoctoral Studies, Cornell University Colleen McLinn – Program Director, CU-CIRTL 1-2 mins We each introduce ourselves (the CIRTL hosts may do this). Include Laura’s background/experience, Cornell resources for mentoring, etc. Request for Audience Input: Who is in attendance? Please type your institution and stage in career into chat window.

3 What is mentoring? "Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be." -Eric Parsloe, The Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring 30 s-1min Mentoring can be done formally or informally. In this presentation we will focus on formal roles (PI-grad student, postdoc etc.).

4 Objectives for this CIRTLCast
After this session, you will be able to: List key traits and practices of an ideal mentor Describe mentoring pitfalls and brainstorm solutions 1 min Most faculty don’t get training in mentoring despite the importance of developing good skills

5 Outline Finding a good mentor
Fostering a better experience with your current mentor Preparing to become the mentor Mentoring needs at different stages: graduate students vs. postdocs Questions and discussion Resources to learn more about mentoring 3-4 mins? CMM present and do poll. This is the general organization for what we plan to discuss. Poll (abcde): Which of these would you like to spend the most time on today? What one issue do you think is most important? Type into chat or raise hand: What have we missed that you would like to talk about?

6 Considerations when seeking a faculty mentor
30 sec So what sorts of traits should you look for in a faculty mentor?

7 Considerations when seeking a faculty mentor
Be proactive. Take control of your own education and opportunities. Consider: The career stage of the faculty member What expectations they have for you Opportunities available Their policies on authorship/credit Degree of autonomy 1 min The first approach to seeking your mentor and then interacting with them is to be proactive! Expectations for you might depend on sources of funding, how specific a project you are being recruited to work on, how many other students, postdocs or lab techs they already have Opportunities available (e.g., grant writing, supervising, mentoring students) Degree of autonomy: how closely linked will your research be to the PI’s? Some sticky situations can arise if your work is closely related to the mentor – sometimes people can feel territorial or insecure – this is an important chance to practice empathy!

8 Fostering a better experience with your current mentor
Be aware of common pitfalls: Shared position between two supervisors Lack of clearly defined expectations Individual differences in communication or learning styles 1 min Some mentees have additional challenges when they are jointly mentored by two PI’s. Communication is key Consider that there may be cultural or gender-related differences in communication strategies. Be sensitive to the cultural or other background of your mentor. Consider whether your advisor will respond better to numbers, diagrams, etc.

9 Four Major Communication Styles
1 min? CMM: would you like to cover this slide? Re: Individual differences in communication styles Direct vs. Indirect Task-oriented vs. People oriented Figure 4.1 The Now Habit at Work, by Neil Fiore

10 Fostering a better experience with your current mentor
Turning things around if necessary Be proactive Provide feedback professionally Stay calm Listen to the other person’s needs Ask for what you need 1 min Have the courage to create a better mentoring experience if your existing one isn’t going well. Listening is a key tool. Good Resources: Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott Nonviolent Communication: The Language of Life by Marshall Rosenberg

11 Fostering a better experience with your current mentor
Find mentoring elsewhere (formal or informal) 1 min CH: would you like to cover this slide? CH: depending on Status, Postdocs vs grad students the resources will be different Diagram: “Team Mentoring Concept” or “Academic Support Network”

12 If the mentoring relationship needs to be severed…
Confidential resources (use for advice) University Ombudsperson Human Resources Graduate School Offices Not confidential (use to help take action) Director of Graduate Studies Department Chair 1 min Not necessarily mutually exclusive Know when it is time to leave. Sever the mentoring relationship if necessary. Note to you as faculty/future faculty: When you don’t think a mentee should continue, you need to follow official channels

13 Preparing to become the mentor
What do you wish you had known? “To lay out expectations for the relationship at the very beginning.” “To not do everything for my mentee - to encourage them to be in charge of their own experience.” “To have the courage to say this is no longer working for us - to end the relationship even if it is your own graduate student.” “To not suffocate my mentee with too much advice.” “Not all mentors can be confidential - you have to be careful what you say and really know who you can trust.” – Cornell faculty 1-2 mins I added these from my informal (LCH) surveys

14 Scenarios for Discussion
You are mentoring a postdoc who thinks he/she has discovered a case of plagiarism in the lab. You… You find out from a colleague that your postdoc mentee is getting ready to publish a paper. It is from work they did in your lab with your funding. You didn’t know this. You… You have a graduate student mentee who is funded by NIH/NSF. You leave on a one-month research trip and return to find that the student left the lab to go surfing for the month in South America without telling you. You… Your mentee approaches you after avoiding your efforts to reach out for weeks via and phone calls. They are clearly distraught and tells you that they feel like you don’t respect them. They say that you are often condescending in subtle ways towards them. They think you are discriminating against them because they are openly gay. You… 5-10 mins? Either load slides in 4 breakout rooms with Laura=A, Colleen=B, Christine=C, Robin=D, or do a poll for which one to tackle. We will adapt as we get to this section and check the time. I’m estimating that we will be about 15 minutes in by this time (if we don’t get any questions) Could do a poll on which they want to address, or split into breakout rooms Split into 4 discussion rooms - Load slides in each. Plan on at least 10 minutes for this. I changed #2 to mentee – is that right?

15 Scenario A You are mentoring a postdoc who thinks he/she has discovered a case of plagiarism in the lab. You…. Preparing to become the mentor: LCH added a few scenarios in the notes. I have ideas for the approach to take for each based on the key skills we discussed, listening, being objective and open, that people need multiple types of mentors, etc. Plus it highlights a key tension – when you know about things that are clearly against the law versus things that are shades of grey…. Should we number these 1-4, and split into 4 discussion rooms? LCH: Here is a scenario - 1) you are mentoring a postdoc who thinks he/she has discovered a case of plaguarism in the lab. You…. 2) You find out from a colleague that your postdoc mentor is getting ready to publish a paper. It is from work they did in your lab, but you are not aware of the publication. You….. 3) You have a graduate student mentee who is funded by NIH/NSF. You leave on a one month research trip and return to find that the student left the lab to go surfing for the month in south america which out telling you. You… 4) Your mentee approaches you after avoiding your efforts to reach out for weeks via and phone calls. The mentee is clearly distraught and tells you that they feel like you don’t respect them. They say that you are often condescending in subtle ways towards them. They think you are discriminating against them because they are openly gay. You….

16 Scenario B You find out from a colleague that your postdoc mentee is getting ready to publish a paper. It is from work they did in your lab, but you are not aware of the publication. You… Preparing to become the mentor: LCH added a few scenarios in the notes. I have ideas for the approach to take for each based on the key skills we discussed, listening, being objective and open, that people need multiple types of mentors, etc. Plus it highlights a key tension – when you know about things that are clearly against the law versus things that are shades of grey…. Should we number these 1-4, and split into 4 discussion rooms? LCH: Here is a scenario - 1) you are mentoring a postdoc who thinks he/she has discovered a case of plaguarism in the lab. You…. 2) You find out from a colleague that your postdoc mentor is getting ready to publish a paper. It is from work they did in your lab, but you are not aware of the publication. You….. 3) You have a graduate student mentee who is funded by NIH/NSF. You leave on a one month research trip and return to find that the student left the lab to go surfing for the month in south america which out telling you. You… 4) Your mentee approaches you after avoiding your efforts to reach out for weeks via and phone calls. The mentee is clearly distraught and tells you that they feel like you don’t respect them. They say that you are often condescending in subtle ways towards them. They think you are discriminating against them because they are openly gay. You….

17 Scenario C You have a graduate student mentee who is funded by NIH/NSF. You leave on a one-month research trip and return to find that the student left the lab to go surfing for the month in South America without telling you. You… Preparing to become the mentor: LCH added a few scenarios in the notes. I have ideas for the approach to take for each based on the key skills we discussed, listening, being objective and open, that people need multiple types of mentors, etc. Plus it highlights a key tension – when you know about things that are clearly against the law versus things that are shades of grey…. Should we number these 1-4, and split into 4 discussion rooms? LCH: Here is a scenario - 1) you are mentoring a postdoc who thinks he/she has discovered a case of plaguarism in the lab. You…. 2) You find out from a colleague that your postdoc mentor is getting ready to publish a paper. It is from work they did in your lab, but you are not aware of the publication. You….. 3) You have a graduate student mentee who is funded by NIH/NSF. You leave on a one month research trip and return to find that the student left the lab to go surfing for the month in south america which out telling you. You… 4) Your mentee approaches you after avoiding your efforts to reach out for weeks via and phone calls. The mentee is clearly distraught and tells you that they feel like you don’t respect them. They say that you are often condescending in subtle ways towards them. They think you are discriminating against them because they are openly gay. You….

18 Scenario D Your mentee approaches you after avoiding your efforts to reach out for weeks via and phone calls. The mentee is clearly distraught and tells you that they feel like you don’t respect them. They say that you are often condescending in subtle ways towards them. They think you are discriminating against them because they are openly gay. You… Preparing to become the mentor: LCH added a few scenarios in the notes. I have ideas for the approach to take for each based on the key skills we discussed, listening, being objective and open, that people need multiple types of mentors, etc. Plus it highlights a key tension – when you know about things that are clearly against the law versus things that are shades of grey…. Should we number these 1-4, and split into 4 discussion rooms? LCH: Here is a scenario - 1) you are mentoring a postdoc who thinks he/she has discovered a case of plaguarism in the lab. You…. 2) You find out from a colleague that your postdoc mentor is getting ready to publish a paper. It is from work they did in your lab, but you are not aware of the publication. You….. 3) You have a graduate student mentee who is funded by NIH/NSF. You leave on a one month research trip and return to find that the student left the lab to go surfing for the month in south america which out telling you. You… 4) Your mentee approaches you after avoiding your efforts to reach out for weeks via and phone calls. The mentee is clearly distraught and tells you that they feel like you don’t respect them. They say that you are often condescending in subtle ways towards them. They think you are discriminating against them because they are openly gay. You….

19 Things to consider as you become the mentor
What is your mentoring philosophy? What are your core values, strengths and weaknesses coming into a mentoring relationship? What responsibilities do you have as a mentor? time investment effort confidentiality accountability 2 mins LCH can provide examples

20 What skills do mentors need?
Effective and timely communication Clearly articulating expectations Provide constructive feedback verbally and in writing Hiring and interviewing skills Stress relief and anger management strategies Strategies for resolving conflict 2 mins

21 Mentoring Tips Establish the nature of your relationship and expectations you both have Set up regular meetings with your mentee Listen fully without judgment Maintain confidentiality at all times Get feedback from your mentee 2 mins Regular meetings allow you to stay in communication Be flexible, everyone is human and makes mistakes, schedules change at the last minute, etc Listen fully without judgment and be objective Maintain confidentiality at all times (this is especially difficult when you are in the same department/program) Feedback can be grouped, compiled by a lab manager or others to make it more anonymous

22 Mentoring Tips Cultivate a non-intimidating environment – go for coffee/meals or a walk while you talk Be flexible Offer “insider advice” – what you wish you had known, where to get resources or help, who are key contacts to meet on campus Keep notes and refer back to them to refresh your memory before meeting with the mentee 1-2 mins Regular meetings allow you to stay in communication Feedback can be grouped, compiled by a lab manager or others to make it more anonymous Be flexible, everyone is human and makes mistakes, schedules change at the last minute, etc

23 Consider the stage Answer in the chat window: How do the mentoring needs of postdocs differ from those of graduate students? 2 mins CH: do you want to cover this?

24 Mentoring Graduate Students
Encourage them to write as they go along Assess progress biannually or annually Help students network: Encourage meeting attendance Make introductions to colleagues Encourage opportunities for them to practice presenting research Send around position ads so they can see what skills employers are seeking 2 mins

25 Mentoring Postdocs Help them to understand the bigger research endeavor From the start, decide what is their research that they can take with them vs. lab research Model lab management skills Provide opportunities to practice teaching skills Offer strategies on dealing with difficult students Include them in manuscript and grant-writing process Encourage them to seek professional development opportunities Send them position advertisements Help them move to their next step 2 mins Model lab management skills (purchasing, compliance, permits, budgeting)

26 What Questions Do You Have?
CMM or CH, would you like to cover this slide and then we could all field questions. I can plan to have my mike off, but turn it on if I can address any questions so you can see that I’m planning to answer. Ideally we will be mins in at this point (if you total my time estimates in the comments of each slide we are at 40 mins when we get to this point. We have provided some resources on the additional slides at the end of this presentation for you to consider

27 Resources to Learn More
Individual Development Plan for postdocs: Manuals from Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan): How to Get the Mentoring You Want: A Guide for Graduate Students at a Diverse University How to Mentor Graduate Students: A Guide for Faculty in a Diverse University Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty, 2nd edition, Burroughs Wellcome Fund and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (2006) Chapter 5: “Mentoring and Being Mentored” O mins

28 Resources to Learn More
Adviser, Teacher, Role Model, Friend: On Being a Mentor to Students in Science and Engineering, Download free from National Academies Press On the Right Track: A Manual for Research Mentors Purchase from the Council of Graduate Schools store Getting the Most out of Your Mentoring Relationships: A Handbook for Women in STEM, Donna J. Dean (2009) - Order from AWIS or Amazon Entering Mentoring: A Seminar to Train the Next Generation of Scientists HHMI website (free) or Amazon Research Mentor Training website Tomorrow’s Professor Blog O mins Resource list for women of color – put in chat window instead?www.socwomen.org/web/images/stories/about/committees/roadtotenure4woc.pdf Maybe (but a bit anti-men): “Women as Mentors: Myths and Commandments”

29 Closing Thoughts Effective mentoring recognizes the need for lifelong learning Effective mentoring recognizes that development occurs in stages Effective mentoring is customized for the individual Effective mentoring is facilitated when the protégé is proactive Source: National Postdoc Association O mins


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