Find a Mentor Step 3. Start a Mentoring Relationship
Start here if you have identified a mentor and wish to establish a mentoring relationship. If you do not have an individual in mind, go to Step 1: Define Your Needs to define your mentoring needs, or to Step 2: Identify Your Mentor.
To be effective and productive you must put thought and effort into the mentoring relationship. Pay attention to the following:
- Your Initial Contact: suggestions for your request for mentoring.
- Your First Meeting: how to prepare for that critical initial meeting with your mentor.
- Setting Expectations: how to define the goals and objectives of the relationship.
- Mentoring Agreement: defining your mutual expectations with a simple written document.
- Managing Meetings: how to schedule the meetings, set agendas and follow up after.
- Being An Effective Mentee: how to get the most out of your mentoring relationship.
A focused ask for mentoring on a specific topic is likely to be more successful than a broader, vaguer request. Once your mentor has agreed, respect their time and effort and use the opportunity wisely.
Example: Jane Brown, MD
Jane says: “There’s a member of the Educational Policy Committee (EPC), who seems to have the right expertise. Here goes . . .
Dear Dr. Smith:
I am an Assistant Professor in ObGyn. I’m planning to create a new fourth year elective on reproductive endocrinology. I know the content but need help with curriculum development. I saw that you had developed a similar course last year — would you have the time to advise me?”