Mentee Protocols

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(the following guidelines are culled from a variety of sources)

  • Do ASK for advice and welcome constructive suggestions. Do NOT assume that advice will be offered if it is not solicited. Be as specific as possible when asking for advice. A good mentor will offer both criticism and suggestions for your work. Be open to both.
  • Be considerate of your mentor’s time. Return phone calls promptly and be on time. On any specific occasion ask how much time your mentor has to spend with you and abide by that request. Let your mentor suggest taking extra time if
  • Listen to what your mentor has to say. Although sometimes advice may seem irrelevant to you, often the information will become useful at some future
  • Seriously consider the advice given to you by your mentor, even if your immediate reaction is not positive. Beginning a response to advice or criticism with the words, “Yes, but. . .” is a bad start.
  • At your next meeting with your mentor, share how you used your last conversation as a means of solving a problem, even if the mentor’s suggestion was not the one
  • Show appreciation for the time and assistance given to you by your
  • Make only positive or neutral comments about your mentor to others. If you believe you have a fundamental difference with your mentor, let him/her know. Work it out or suggest that the relationship
  • Keep the doors open with your mentor. You never know when you may need his/her advice or consent at some point in the Once you are tenured, stay in touch to provide “progress” reports.

Thus, mentors have the right to expect that you will:

  • meet as often as originally agreed upon,
  • ask for advice,
  • listen thoughtfully, and advise mentor about results,
  • keep confidences, and
  • re-evaluate the mentoring agreement annually

You should NOT expect your mentor to:

  • spend unlimited amounts of time with you,
  • deal extensively with personal problems. The mentor’s job is to refer you to resources.

Probably the greatest challenge faced by pairs is finding enough time and energy to meet together. Even finding half an hour can be difficult. Use phone calls, e-mail, etc., as ways of staying in touch when your schedules are the busiest.