Establishing a mentoring relationship – ways in
It may be helpful to find out from the mentee:
- Are any of the areas below (or from the wheel of life) of prime importance to you, or shall we make a general start?
- (if the latter), which area shall we start with (and what order shall we proceed in)?
- Are any areas out of bounds?
- Are there areas which don’t seem relevant to you at this stage (but which you might want to include as we go on?)
We have different areas to explore:
- Professional self
- Future plans
- Future hopes
- Educational experience
- Social self
Some possible ways into these areas:
- Why medicine?
- Tell me about your role in your department – what role do you see yourself undertaking?
- What role do you enjoy most?
- What do you feel about medicine now?
- Can you describe the most difficult incident/event in your department in the last six months?
- What was the response? (what happened as a result?)
- Where do you want to be in 5 years’ time?
- Are you on course for achieving this?
- What do you identify as your personal strengths?
- Can we identify which forces will hinder your future plans?
- Which forces will act positively on future plans?
- What do you see as your greatest achievements?
- How do you spend your time when you are not working?
- How would your best friend describe you?
- What do you gain from your social interests and activities?
- Do you feel you actively make time for outside interests – or simply use what time is left over after work commitments are fulfilled?
- What do you look for in a relationship with friends?
- Tell me about the people who most influenced your formative years
- What characterises your own upbringing?
- What sort of person would you describe yourself as being?
- What events/circumstances do you find most stressful?
- To whom do you turn for support?
- To whom do you offer support?
- What has been your most enjoyable educational experience?
- Why was it enjoyable?
- Can you give me an example of a negative learning event?
- What effect might his have had on you?
- What is your preferred style of learning?
- What are a) your strengths in learning and b) your limitations in learning?
- In what areas would you like to increase your skills and knowledge?
- Define three objectives for your professional development
- Can we clarify learning needs related to these objectives?
- What would you see as being obstacles to your professional development?
- What would you see as our future working agenda?
- Are there other areas of discussion you would like to develop, or return to?
Lisa Baxter/Jo Hennessey 2006