A mentor can be used to describe a formal assigned relationship for counseling, teaching, and assisting a junior colleague in attaining success. A mentor may be self-selected and serve as a guide, a touchstone for professional and personal success. Mentoring may be career advice or real teaching in specific skills. Whatever it is, mentoring is the third most powerful personal relationship for influencing human behavior if it is working.
A mentoring relationship is seen as an essential step for achieving success in politics, business, and academia. The literature show that most successful people in all areas of human endeavor can point to an individual or mentor who played a critical role in the development of their career. Studies of mentoring in the health professions reveal benefits for all faculty at all levels of career development. According to a University of Minnesota study, faculty with mentors demonstrate higher levels of the following success factors:
● Research Productivity
● Professional socialization and interactions with colleagues
● Salary levels and satisfaction with salary and promotion
Mentoring is largely the art of making the most of a given situation……. Gordon Shea
The UAMS Women’s Faculty Development Caucus offers tips on building a successful program:
● Use what you have. Take inventory of existing institutional resources and programs before beginning your mentoring program and link it to current programs, services, and resources.
● Communicate, Communicate, Communicate with both mentors and proteges once the program is established. Formal reports and informal hallway conversations are vital in assessing and maintaining operational relationships.
● Track Results and Reward Success. Formal evaluation reports can track progress and the success of the program. Informal reports highlight opportunities and contribute to program growth. Track and report the advancement and diversity of leadership positions. Faculty mentoring awards raise the visibility and importance of mentoring across the institution.