Elements of Effective Mentoring

Goal Setting & Activities

2 peoeple standing in front of a sign that says "yes".

Goal Setting

Overall, the mentor and mentee should together establish goals for the mentoring process.  Effective mentoring most commonly involves the creation of a collaborative plan tha

  • Helps the mentee develop a career vision;
  • Identifies how the mentee will achieve the vision;
  • Creates strategic goals that are achievable and measurable;
  • Includes annual review of progress on goals;
  • Useful forms and templates

Mentoring Activities

Mentors and mentees are encouraged to meet and discuss activities that promote mentees’ needs and interests through face-to-face interactions, phone calls, or emails. Mentoring activities may include:

Social Activities

  • Take mentee out for lunch
  • Introduce mentee to other faculty members
  • Introduce mentee to staff who can provide useful resources
  • Attend mentoring workshops together offered by the University

Research-Related Activities

  • Discuss research strategies
  • Review CV and provide feedback
  • Discuss research funding opportunities and strategies
  • Review grant applications

Teaching-Related Activities

  • Review students’ teaching evaluations
  • Discuss effective instructional skills
  • Discuss teaching portfolio
  • Share useful teaching resources
  • Observe mentee teaching in classroom

Service-Related Activities

  • Discuss potential service opportunities at the department or university level (e.g., service on committee)
  • Discuss scholarly service opportunities (e.g., journal reviewer, conference organizers)
  • Discuss ways to balance service and research/teaching
  • Provide advice regarding avenues for community engagement

Career Development

  • Discuss long-term career goals
  • Discuss tenure and promotion process including preparing dossier when relevant
  • Discuss departmental climate and provide advice on faculty relationships

Work-Life Balance

  • Discuss work-to-life and life-to-work conflicts
  • Share time management strategies
  • Share stress management techniques

Civic Engagement and Economic Development

  • Explore technology transfer implications of research
  • Discuss relevant patent development and licensing
  • Explore consulting opportunities
  • Help identify strategies to network with various community groups
  • Assist in developing best practices for working effectively with community groups, NGO’s and businesses at the local through global levels. discovered and making changes to mentor/mentee relationships and practices as needed. 

More on Effective Mentoring