Traits of a good mentor
- Accessibility: An open door and an approachable attitude.
- Empathy: Personal insight into what the trainee is experiencing.
- Open mindedness: Respect for each trainee’s individuality and for working styles and career goals that may be different from those of the mentor.
- Consistency: Acting on your stated principles on a regular basis.
- Patience: Awareness that people make mistakes and that each person matures at his or her own rate.
- Honesty: Ability to communicate the hard truths about the trainee’s chances of success.
- Savviness: Attention to the pragmatic aspects of career development.
- Trust: As a mentor you are privy to considerable information about your trainee, including accomplishments, failures, financial situations and possibly even personal information. Information should be treated as confidential so your trainees feel they can trust you and share their ideas and problems with you.
Strategies for Effective Mentoring in your Lab
- Make everything a learning opportunity
- Set specific goals and measures of accomplishment
- Encourage strategic thinking and creativity
- Uphold professional standards
- Impart skills
- Provide networking opportunities
- Give moral support