Challenges, Exits and Conclusions
A successful program creates the framework within which junior faculty feel empowered to establish and maintain their mentoring relationship. An impactful program designs its processes to stay ahead of potential issues that could come up, designs itself to allow for the natural ending of mentoring relationships, and also facilitates mid-course changes of mentors without risk to the mentees or mentors. The program shouldn’t allow problems in mentoring dyads to go unaddressed, and when addressed, do so wisely with great tact.
Suggestions to do address mentoring dyad issues include:
- Assigning co-mentors formally, or facilitating a network of informal mentors in addition to the formally-assigned mentor in the program.
- Having a program committee or representative meet with the mentee at least once at mid-point in the program. Hold this meeting confidentially and seek information about the mentee’s experience, met and unmet needs.
- Develop program-wide social or quasi-social activities that bridge differences and ameliorate discomfort that might arise in the course of the mentoring relationship.
- Consider exit interviews to ascertain reasons
- Consider impact on group activities
- Plan closing event for program
- Plan evaluation mechanisms, including exit interviews and surveys
- Include communication with mentors in evaluative process
- Consider mechanisms to allow for continued communication/meetings among group participants
- Confidentiality parameters should be set at the outset of program
- Upon concluding program, participants should be reminded of confidentiality parameters