Elements of Effective Mentoring

Feedback & Assessment

two people talking across a table.

1. Feedback

Reciprocal and on-going feedback is a vital component of the partnership.

Mentees need and want honest, candid feedback from their mentor. Equally important is the feedback mentees can offer to mentors. The feedback should involve an agreement between the mentee and the mentor and includes:

Effective feedback to mentee:

  • Is offered in a timely manner;
  • Focuses on specific behaviors;
  • Emphasizes actions, solutions or strategies to reach highest potential, including tenure and promotion;
  • Identifies mentee strengths and assets;
  • Highlights areas for growth, development and enhancement;
  • Raises concern about harmful behaviors or attitudes;
  • Discusses how the mentee may be perceived by others.

Effective feedback from mentee:

  • Whether the advice or guidance offered was beneficial and solved an issue;
  • Whether the mentor communication style and/or actions facilitate a positive mentoring experience;
  • Whether the mentor communication style and/or actions create challenges to a positive mentoring experience. 

2. Assessment

Assessment is an essential component of any mentoring program. Chairs and deans should take steps to assess the effectiveness of mentoring. To assist with this process, over three year cycles, the Mentoring Advisory Committee will:

  1. survey chairs and deans about their programs and policies (year 1)
  2. survey mentees across the university to ask about their experiences and level of satisfaction with the mentorship program (year 2), and
  3. survey mentors about their training needs (year 3).

The mentoring program will be updated as necessary to reflect the results of (1), (2), and (3) above and the latest information in the scholarly literature about mentorship. 

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