Mentorship is a hot topic in veterinary medicine. It is one of the main concerns of veterinary students and recent graduates, as well as veterinarians who wish to deepen their knowledge or change careers in the field. Here are four important steps when looking for mentorship at any point in your veterinary career:
1. Mentor-mentee pairing
It is important to conduct interviews with a potential mentor or mentee to identify the strengths and weaknesses of both parties, to determine if the individuals will be a good match. Each partnership match will be unique, and when paired well, they can establish trust, good communication and build a dynamic working relationship.
2. Partnership training
It is important that the roles in the mentor-mentee match are clearly identified and that expectations are clearly communicated. A detailed summary of the conditions of the twinning should be provided, as well as the shared expectations and identified objectives to be achieved.
In a new partnership, there can be a variety of “growing pains” as the relationship develops. It is important to involve a third party, if necessary, especially in the first 2-3 months, to ensure that communication remains clear and to avoid any discomfort. The third party also provides encouragement opportunities for the coach to facilitate connection in the game to help the relationship flourish.
Sometimes new partnerships may “lack content” or items to discuss. To avoid a decrease in mentee engagement, it is important to come up with far-reaching concepts that impact the career so that conversations flow and knowledge increases. When focusing on larger ideas, it allows the mentee to explore the mentor’s experiences, opinions and thought processes related to important learning goals.
Whether you are a mentor or a mentee, keeping these important points in mind will allow a very beneficial and successful partnership to flourish.