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Engage. Elevate. Empower. These words describe the purpose of Maryville University’s Women’s Leadership Program (WLP) which has been in existence since 2012. One cornerstone of the WLP is the Women’s Leadership Mentoring Program.
Over the past eight years, we have learned much about ways to manage a successful mentor-mentee experience. Importantly, the matching of mentor/mentee is key, as well as establishing a pre-arranged schedule for getting together, such as monthly meetings.
Structuring the mentoring experience
In our experience serving as mentors, the framework of a program is an intentional and meaningful way to help shape the experience and outcomes for participants and mentors. At Maryville, we feel that mentoring really is a win-win opportunity and a way of giving back; because it’s in the giving that we receive.
Communication is critical. To help facilitate ongoing communication for mentors and mentees alike, publishing a monthly newsletter is helpful. The newsletter could highlight a topic, purpose, and discussion questions to prompt conversation, as well as a list of upcoming events, and even a Ted Talk pertinent to that month’s topic.
Specific topics we have found to be critical to address involve engaging, elevating, and empowering women. Topics such as Exploring Confidence from Different Perspectives; The Power of No: Setting Personal and Professional Boundaries; Making a Good First Impression, and coming in February 2020 – Learning to Effectively Negotiate.
Words of wisdom, insight, guidance, challenges, troubleshooting, encouragement, dreams and more are all a part of the journey that brings such richness to the mentoring relationship.
Maryville mentors’ words of wisdom for mentees
There is empirical evidence that mentoring does make a difference. A meta-analysis of mentorship studies conducted in 2004 indicates that having quality mentors are beneficial to an individual’s career as they increase your network through relationship building, assist in increasing skill development, provide personalized feedback and career strategy, and increase your compensation and promotion opportunities.
Here’s what a mentor can help you do:
- Be your best self – Even if you are still discovering who that is. Life is all about discoveries; along the way you will be shaped and molded by your experiences and encounters. Learn from them and grow.
- Take a deep breath, and go one step at a time – Before you know it, you have made it to the finish line.
- Don’t compare yourself to others – Simply focus on being the best YOU that YOU can be.
- “Learn to fail or fail to learn” – Understand that no one expects you to be perfect and never make a mistake, so embrace your failures and choose to learn from them.
- Say yes more often than you say no – But keep it balanced.
- Take time for your mental health.
- Be kind to yourself and love who you are – Treat yourself with care and self-compassion. We all make mistakes and we all have weaknesses; learn from your mistakes and be self-forgiving.
- Love life, try something new, learn something new, and make a positive impact.
- Take time to ask others about their journey to where they are today – Hearing other individuals’ stories can often inspire you to consider what is possible and uncover the many ways to get there.
- Take one day at a time! – Do not get overwhelmed. You can only do so much in a day, so set your priorities.
The public is invited to learn more about mentorship from leading health care professionals at the Maryville Force event on February 6, 2020 at 8am at the Bayer Studio at Nine Network of Public Media.
Dynamic women leaders discuss career decisions, risk-taking, and lessons in mentorship. Key topics include identifying gaps in health care and workforce development, achieving real-world training experience, and empowering young women. Featured Speakers are:
- Christine Candio, FACHE, President and CEO, St. Luke’s Hospital Corporation
- Dr. Michelle Jenkins-Unterberg, Dean, Walker College of Health Professions, Maryville University
- Candace Jennings, Regional President, SSM Health St. Louis
- Tracie Berry McGhee, Executive, Director, SistaKeeper
Register here to attend.