Mentee and Mentor Expectations
Guidelines/Expectations for Mentees and Mentors updated 8/17
The best mentoring programs are mentee-driven. They allow new faculty to bring questions, concerns, or problems to someone who listens, supports, informs, and sympathizes without judgment, criticism, advice, or comparison.
Some best practices/expectations for mentees:
--Take the initiative in the relationship. Invite your mentor to meet with you, suggest topics to discuss, ask for what you need. Use email, phone, and time in person.
--Bring questions, confusions, concerns, and problems. But also bring successes, alternatives, and ideas. New faculty are hired because of all they bring. See your mentor as someone who can help you be you and bring what you bring to Gavilan.
--Meet as often as is appropriate. Scheduling in advance, spontaneity, and a combination are all fine—as long as they work with you both.
-- Be clear what you need, and if an activity or suggestion just isn’t of interest, say so. Stick with teaching/learning, academic/community, and work-life balance issues that are truly of interest to you.
--Don’t expect your mentor to know everything or be able to help in every situation. But do check with your mentor early on when you need help.
--Ask for information and, if appropriate, advice. Understand that any advice is not the last word, and may not be right for you. The more important a concern, the more important to weigh advice carefully and get second and third opinions.
--Be open to discussions and constructive alternative ways to handle teaching and professional responsibilities.
--Elicit a mentor’s help in developing other informal supportive relationships.
--Be honest about any minor concerns regarding the mentoring relationship. If things are just not working, face facts and follow a “no fault” separation policy if the mentoring year is not over; you can get a new mentor or just use informal support.
Some best practices/expectations for mentors:
Respect your mentee’s time. Schedule as much as possible around her or his needs, and let go of expectations about how often you “should” meet. Try to avoid distractions such as phones and knocks at the door when meeting with your mentee.
Listen much more than you talk.
Avoid a deficiency mindset that’s not supportive of what this new faculty person offers. Find out what your mentee is good at, passionate about, and working on.
Address stated needs as best you can. Offer more only when it’s appropriate. Don’t evaluate, rescue, or criticize. Don’t pass along negatives about the college or its employees.
Provide help by serving as a learning broker, and be a sounding board for issues relating to the mentee's career goals and development.
Provide suggestions and advice on goals and activities that might lead to rewarding opportunities, understanding that your mentee might enjoy different challenges than you do.
Give feedback or advice tentatively, and only if asked directly. Respect that your mentee might not follow it. Suggest a second or third person’s opinion, also, thus helping your mentee expand his/her network.
Respect the privacy of your mentee—don’t spread information that was meant to be between the two of you (mandated reporter issues aside, of course.)
Introduce your mentee around campus, show your mentee around campus, and help your mentee through important deadlines, such as flex and co-curricular.
Be a catalyst for mentee developing his/her own network. Point to others he/she might reach out to and engage.
Be honest about any minor concerns regarding the mentoring relationship. If things are just not working, face facts and follow a “no fault” separation policy if the mentoring year is not over.
Suggestions for changes can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org