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Resources for Mentees

How to Use this Page

Click a topic heading below to expand it and review the available resources, including videos, podcasts, and downloadable PDFs.

Note that the topics are organized based on the mentoring relationship lifecycle.

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Stop by the ASN Career Advancement Community to share:

  • Specific questions about the mentoring resources on this page.
  • Mentoring-related questions and experiences with your peers.

Mentoring Presentations, Case Studies, Activities, and Resources

Click a heading to view the subtopics:

1. Communicating Effectively During All Phases

Effective communication is the foundation of all successful mentoring relationships. This section explores what it means to be an effective communicator and covers such topics as building trust, active listening, giving and receiving constructive feedback, interacting with a mentor who is different from you, and communication styles.

Best Practices for Interpersonal Communication

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Description

This presentation explores communication best practices that you can apply as a mentor or mentee. It includes specific techniques for verbal and non-verbal communication that you'll find can improve all relationships.

Accepting Constructive Feedback

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Description

This case study examines techniques that you can use to accept and implement constructive feedback from others, especially your mentor. You'll see what works and what doesn't.
Approximate duration: 07:20.

Communicating effectively across diverse dimensions

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Description

This case study explores issues related to working with mentors who are different from you in gender, race, religion, or other areas. Find out how you can foster a productive relationship with a mentor even if you come from very different backgrounds.
Approximate duration: 04:35.

Identifying different communication styles

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Description

This downloadable PDF activity gives you a tool to assess your own communication style. You can uncover your tendencies, such as traits you show under stress, to better understand how to communicate effectively with others.

Engaging in active listening

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Description

Active listening is a critical skill that can help create shared expectations and foster meaningful communication throughout the mentoring relationship. This case study explores what can happen when active listening is missing from the conversation.
Approximate duration: 05:15.

Strategies to improve communication

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Description

This downloadable PDF activity provides a structured role-play opportunity to assess how you communicate with others and identify areas of possible improvement.

2. Selecting a Mentor

Choosing an appropriate person for the role of mentor, assessing your personal fit, and structuring your personal goals are essential to a long and productive relationship.

Getting started: Finding the right mentor

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Description

Finding a mentor can be daunting. While there is no hard and fast rule, this presentation will give you some key strategies to help ensure you pick the person or persons who will best help you grow professionally.
Approximate duration: 04:25.

Supporting Resource

Mentor Competency Areas — This downloadable PDF provides a useful exploration of the competency areas to expect from your mentors. It illustrates each specific competency with one or more examples to help you identify those traits in your current or prospective mentor. Download Mentoring Competency Areas

Creating an individual development plan

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Description

This presentation explores a critical aspect of your professional development: creating an Individual Development Plan, or IDP. You'll review the role of the IDP and the steps for creating a useful personal plan.
Approximate duration: 03:50.

Supporting Resources

External IDP Resources — This downloadable PDF provides links to a range of tools to help you create an Individual Development Plan. Links include templates that you can fill out and modify to fit your needs. Download External IDP Resources

Self Assessment Questionnaire — This link to the University of Wisconsin-Madison's ICTR Self Assessment Questionnaire provides a tool for noting your strengths and weaknesses in a variety of research-related areas. You can adapt the questions to your situation (if necessary) by replacing "research" with, for example "clinical" or "academic". View the Self Assessment Questionnaire

Assessing if there's a good fit with your mentor

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Description

This presentation provides an overview of techniques you can use to assess, on an ongoing basis, whether your current mentoring relationship is serving your best interests.
Approximate duration: 01:45.

Supporting Resources

Mentee Interview Questions — This downloadable PDF provides a useful set of interview questions you can use to assess whether a potential mentor is a good fit for you. It explores the areas of career development, personality, availability, and research resources (if applicable). Download Mentee Interview Questions

NIH Mentor Evaluation Questions — This downloadable PDF from the National Institutes of Health provides another useful set of topics to guide your thinking when evaluating potential mentors. Review this resource in addition to the other similar options provided here to gain more insights. Download NIH Mentor Evaluation Questions

Assessing the Fit Checklist — This downloadable PDF provides a brief checklist of questions to verify that you've found a good match with your mentor. Consider sharing the list with your mentor to confirm that you are equally committed to the relationship. Download Assessing the Fit Checklist

Common Expectations for Mentees — This downloadable PDF provides another perspective on the functional expectations for mentees. Read through this list to help ensure you embody the attitudes and behaviors that will help you get the most from the mentoring relationship. Download Common Expectations

Early Mentoring Conversations — This downloadable PDF provides some general strategies you can use during early conversions between mentors and mentees. Use the suggested questions as a starting point to ensure you each get what you expect from the relationship. Download Early Mentoring Conversations

3. Aligning Expectations

An effective mentor-mentee relationship is built upon a shared understanding of your and your mentor's expectations. As a mentee, it is incumbent upon you to have in-depth conversations with your mentor early in the relationship to identify your goals and career aspirations and ensure that you are receiving timely and meaningful support.

Establishing mutually beneficial expectations for the mentoring relationship

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Description

This case study explores the expectations that you and your mentor bring to the relationship. It also discusses how to realign expectations when they get out of synch. Approximate duration: 05:15.

Aligning and communicating mentee and mentor expectations

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Description

This downloadable PDF informational guide provides basic guidance for a mentor-mentee agreement. Such an agreement should be the foundation of your relationship. You can add, remove, or edit items to fit your situation.

How personal and professional differences may influence expectations

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Description

This case study examines the importance of you and your mentor having a shared understanding of the your career goals and professional interests throughout the mentoring relationship. Approximate duration: 05:30.

4. Cultivating the Mentoring Relationship

Navigating a mentoring relationship can be at once challenging and extremely rewarding. Your perspectives and personal background may differ from your mentor's. And your intellectual and professional growth during the relationship may require that you reevaluate your needs periodically with your mentor to ensure you're getting the most from the partnership. This section examines several aspects of the evolving mentoring relationship and how you can best respond to these changes, opportunities, and challenges.

4.1 Managing Mentoring Challenges
Identifying and managing common mentoring challenges

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Description

This presentation explores some of the common challenges in the mentor-mentee relationship and strategies for you to address them. It also gives each participant insight into the relationship from the other's perspective.

4.2 Addressing Equity and Inclusion
Recognizing and Managing Unconscious Assumptions

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Description

This downloadable PDF provides a tool for you to examine any unconscious assumptions you might make about people based on their professional titles.

Identifying Hidden Biases

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Description

This link to the organization Teaching Tolerance explores the concept of bias. It also provides several fascinating online tools that you can use to test yourself for hidden biases.

4.3 Fostering Independence
Examining independence and how it changes during the relationship

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Description

Mentors and mentees may define independence differently, and their view of independence often changes as a mentee's professional and intellectual abilities evolve over time. This presentation explores the phases of independence that often occur throughout the mentoring relationship.

Creating confidence, trust, and independence in the relationship

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Description

This case study explores the issue of trust between you and your mentor. It provides specific techniques for avoiding trust issues by communicating and setting appropriate expectations.

Balancing competing demands, needs, and interests

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Description

This case study examines what can happen when a mentor provides inequitable professional opportunities to you or other mentees. You'll also explore constructive ways to communicate with your mentor to avoid such a situation from occurring in the first place.

5. Concluding the Relationship with Your Mentor

When it's time to let go of a relationship with your mentor — either because it has naturally run its course or for other reasons — there are some specific attitudes you can adopt and actions you can take to make the transition easier.

Concluding the mentee-mentor relationship

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Description

This presentation explores best practices for concluding your mentor-mentee relationship, as well as advice on the post-mentoring relationship.