Guidelines for Mentors

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Because mentoring relationships come in all shapes and sizes, the following suggestions should be taken as only as guidelines. The role of etiquette in our society is to make other people feel at ease and valued. You may want to review these suggested rules with your mentee to decide which are most important in your mentee-mentor relationship.

Suggested “Etiquette for Mentors”

  • You are not expected to evaluate your mentee’s work. While your professional areas may overlap enough that you feel competent to evaluate his/her work, this is NOT expected of you. Rather, your role is one of helping your mentee to find resources to evaluate his/her work and give him/her
  • Take the initiative in the relationship. Invite your mentee to meet you, suggest topics to discuss, ask if you can offer
  • Respect your mentee’s time as much as you respect your own.
  • Always ask if you can make a suggestion or offer
  • Be explicit with your mentee that you are only offering suggestions and that s/he should weigh your advice along with that received from other mentors.
  • Make only positive or neutral comments about your mentee to Your mentee must trust that anything s/he says to you will be held in the strictest confidence.
  • If you don’t believe that either you or your mentee are able to keep to the terms of your mentoring agreement, don’t be afraid to end the relationship. It may be helpful for you to annually review your mentoring relationship
  • Keep the door open for your mentee to return in the future. If at all possible, try not to end the relationship on bad

Here are a few ideas for items to discuss with your mentee:

  • Ask about and encourage
  • Provide honest criticism and informal
  • Review teaching, research and service
  • Discuss specific “difficult” situations faced by one’s mentee and suggest follow-up actions s/he might take to turn an unfortunate circumstance into an opportunity for opening a dialogue with
  • Help the mentee to understand the current culture of UWM, review expectations as they pertain to becoming involved in activities at UWM, earning tenure or indefinite status, and developing one=s
  • Discuss career and service
  • Review important dates that the mentee should be aware of as it relates to indefinite status.
  • Utilize mentoring to help the new hire become part of the UWM family.
  • Review important dates that the mentee should be aware of and discuss how s/he can be prepared for them. Such dates might include interviews for Graduate School research proposals, submission of materials for annual peer reviews, preparation of materials to the department for annual written progress evaluations and tenure
  • Utilize mentoring to break down any feelings of isolation by including the mentee in campus activities you are aware of so that the mentee gets to know more people at various
  • Discuss balancing work and personal life

*Adapted from Guidelines for Mentors, UW – Madison Women Faculty Mentoring Program