Mentoring Information

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Stages of a mentoring relationship

Adapted from: Suedkamp Wells, K.M., Ryan, M. R., Campa III, H., Smith K. A. (2005)."Mentoring guidelines for wildlife professionals." Wildlife Society Bulletin, 33 (2), pp. 565573. and Abbott, I. O. (2006). Working with a mentor: 50 practical strategies for success. NALP: Washington, DC.

  • Preparing: During this time, focus on identifying mentee needs and mentor expertise, goals of the relationship, concrete expectations.
    • Actions to take before meeting your mentor or mentee:
      • Think about your short-term and long-term goals, professional developments needs, strengths and weaknesses
      • Learn about your mentor or mentee
      • Complete a mentoring expectations worksheet (for mentors and mentees)
    • Actions to take when meeting your mentor or mentee for the first time:
      • Complete the mentoring contract which is a tool to help you identity relationship parameters, boundaries, and expectations
      • Limit your long-term expectations by recognizing that mentoring relationships do not always develop into long-term relationships
  • Negotiating: During this phase of the mentoring relationship, focus on fostering a relationship and bond with your mentor or mentee
    • Actions to take:
      • Be open to learning from your mentor/mentee
      • Listen actively
      • Discuss career and professional development issues
      • Refer to Good Practices for Mentors and Good Practices for Mentees for more information
  • Enabling: During this phase, mentors and mentees focus on sharing experiences, building the competencies and confidence of the mentee
    • Actions to take:
      • Encourage your mentor/mentee to share information and experiences, especially those that are teaching moments
      • Get involved in a project with your mentor/mentee such as a research project, a community service event, or other activity.
  • Closing: During this phase, mentors and mentees will redefine the relationship as leave a formal mentoring relationship with their partner
    • Actions to take:
      • Determine if there are additional things to do, talk about, and more. Prioritize those items and try to address them before the end of the program.
      • Evaluate your mentoring relationship. What worked? What could have been better? Offer constructive advice and guidance that can be used in future mentoring relationships.
      • Determine what type of relationship you would like to have after the program.