By: Tammy McCausland
Dr. Ruth Gotian spoke about mentorship at SROA’s 2022 Annual Meeting. She said we need four roles in our life:
People with mentors out earn people who don’t, she said. A mentor will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. Mentors provide you with a network. Mentors give you “feed forward”—that is, ways to make you improve in the future.
Why Have a Mentor?
The mentor can share their experiences with you. They have perspective you don’t have yet. They have skills they can teach you. They have political capital in terms of whom they can introduce you to.
People who have mentors have higher self-efficacy, lower burnout, higher salary and salary growth, more promotions, and greater job and career satisfaction.
Where Do Mentors Fail?
Gotian talked about active and passive mentorship malpractice. Active mentorship malpractice includes:
Passive mentorship malpractice includes:
The Perfect Mentor
The perfect mentor doesn’t exist because you’re not perfect. Find a mentor that you look up to, has a good reputation, is well-connected and willing to share. The people on your mentoring team should be in your field, outside your field/industry, community of practice, project experience, senior/junior/peers and retirees. Gotian advised to never ask anyone to be your mentor.
Dr. Gotian is the chief learning officer and assistant professor of Education in Anesthesiology and former assistant dean of Mentoring and executive director of the Mentoring Academy at Weill Cornell Medicine.
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