“Head-turning” surprises happened in the
Washington workshops, some one-on-ones
and subsequent emails. The surprises
related to mentoring. It was as if it were
a new term, or something hard to do, or
something not common in chemically
related careers. Some questions came up,
- Who should I choose for a mentor?
- How do I ask a person to be a mentor?
- What do mentors and proteges say to
- What qualities should a good mentor have?
Some rules of thumb for mentoring:
- everyone needs mentors
- a mentor is anyone from whom you can learn
- effective mentors can be quite different from their
proteges (note the shift from mentee, a term that I
am shifting from) and can be chosen by their
Characteristics of mentors include:
1. have time, interest and energy to commit
2. have a learning attitude, effective perspective and
strong communication skills
3. want to commit
4. can synchronize with your time frame and schedule
5. offer harmonious two way communication with fun
so that you look forward to working together
Mentoring is a joint experience that does not require
line management involvement or even knowledge.
It can be from outside perspectives. Both successes
and failures contribute to mentoring discussion and
Some quotes related to mentoring are in the comments.