Navigating the medical world as a newcomer can be challenging, which is why it’s so important for this next generation of professionals to have veteran support in their corner. Mentoring is critical for helping young professionals stay aboard during those rough first years, as well as developing faster and more effectively. However, while young professionals need to work hard and keep an inquisitive mind, it’s also important that those would-be mentors know exactly what they need to do to excel. Here are some tips for mentors to be more effective.
Have An Open Mind
Mentees are going to make suggestions that will end up being wrong in the grand scheme of things. When this happens, you don’t want to instantly shut it down. Instead, it’s important to be clear on why things are incorrect and offer a better alternative. This will keep the free exchange of ideas that builds trust. In addition, if a mentee has a suggestion that does make some sense, it’s not a bad idea to give the concept some serious consideration.
Remember The Emotional Factor
There’s a difference between being a mentor and being a lecturer. Your goal isn’t simply to recite information in order to get your mentees to react accordingly. Instead, you want to make sure you are focusing on how they are emotionally and mentally handling the transition into their new role as well. The role of the medical profession on mental health and emotional health has been discussed at length. It’s important to make sure that you have prepared to offer support here as well as with practical issues.
Being A Mentor, Not A Coach
Let’s expand on this concept a little bit. A mentor and coach are both supportive roles, but their actions aren’t exactly the same. Coaching is based on helping people handle individual tasks. However, mentoring is more about building a supportive relationship. Performance is secondary to development. In addition, many mentors may opt to actually follow a set mentoring model, where you don’t see a design process for coaching.
Being a medical mentor isn’t like, say, a master plumber and apprentice, where one person is alongside the other for the explicit purposes of supporting each other. Both you and your mentor are going to be busy and may not be able to communicate all the time. However, it is important that you take the time to be available at some points. Failing to do this could end up hurting the relationship between you and your mentee. If setting a time to talk isn’t possible, it may not be a bad idea to try and just check on them every now and then and ask if they have any questions. In addition, like every other medical role, it’s important to hone your communication skills. Giving advice is one thing, but it needs to be easy to understand and execute.
Leading By Example
We can’t ignore the fact that you need to practice what you preach when it comes to your lessons. Skilled young professionals are going to be observant and inquisitive about trying and picking up any lessons that they can. This means learning what they can both from what you say and what you do. This means it’s important for you to make sure that you are showcasing good habits as well as explaining them. Failing to do this has a twofold effect. First, your mentees may think you aren’t taking their development seriously. Secondly, you may cast a cynical look on the profession. If you, as someone to look up to, are taking shortcuts, the mentee may think this is their destiny as well.
Think About The Long-Term
In many cases, people stay in contact with their mentors well after their careers are past their initial stage. In this case, a mentor evolves into a confidant, someone that they can use as a professional sounding board for different ideas later in their career. Because of this, mentors want to think ahead with the support they can provide. This means making sure that on top of practical advice at the moment, you also show your mentors ways that they can advance their careers. It’s also not a bad idea to share details of personal lives with each other, as much as you feel comfortable.
The Proper Personality
Again, there’s a very human element to being a successful mentor, which makes some people more effective at it than others. Remember, your mentees are going to be reaching out to you with their vulnerabilities and other concerns. As a result, it’s important for the ideal mentor to be as warm and approachable as possible. This authenticity will make it easier for your mentees to feel comfortable with you. In turn, they will be more open, which will help you craft advice better suited to their needs.
Guiding People To New Technology
As an industry professional, the chances are that you already know a lot of the technology that can be useful to make your job easier and more efficient. While newcomers to the medical world may have an understanding of the baseline tech they need to use, some of the supplementary items may not be taught in school settings. At the same time, these can make a major difference when it comes to their quality of life overall.
A good example of this is online medical certification. Having the proper certification is something that every medical professional needs to stay on top of, but some people go with the “default” option of in-class instruction. While this does technically work, it’s not the most efficient way, especially while many newcomers are still honing their time management. As a mentor, you should be focusing on showing your charges in a different, more effective way. This entails getting your education online, specifically, using ProMed, for their recertification. We offer certification and recertification courses that follow AHA and ILCOR guidelines. We also offer a 100% money-back guarantee for those who aren’t satisfied.
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