She emphasizes how there are many different types of mentors. She proceeds with explaining the top 3 ways to be a good mentee and Top 3 ways to be a good mentor.
Ways to be a good mentee:
- Do your research and choose a good mentor
- mentor qualities include admirable personable quality, they guide your career, they have a strong time commitment with meetings, they support personal/professional balance, leave a legacy
- the best mentor has time for you, they may not be most famous but the quality is more important
- the main mentor should not be your boss
- talk to other mentees
She defines a mentor and sponsor. A sponsor is someone in a position of power and can actively try to enhance or move your career along. A mentor may not be in a position of power. Ideally, the mentor can have qualities of both
- Diversify! Find multiple mentors and find a team. She talks of her team of mentors from her two fellowships, currently a geriatrician and a colorectal surgeon.
- The mentee should drive the relationship and be proactive by initiating meetings, following up and following through. Self-assessments will help. She emphasizes using the following checklist by Zerzan, Making the most of mentors: a guide for the mentee.
Ways to be a good mentor
- Put the mentee’s interest ahead of your own: Do not practice mentorship malpractice: take credit for mentee’s work, making mentees work on your project, slowing the mentee down, discouraging, allowing the mentee to make mistakes over and over
- Identify the career inflection points and encourage mentee on how to succeed
- Allow the relationship to evolve over time and empower the mentee to be independent of you
She concludes her talk by thanking all of her mentors over her lifetime and a quote from Anthony Tjan, Harvard Business Review 2017: “What the Best Mentors Do, The best leaders practice a form of leadership that is less about creating followers and more about creating other leaders.”
Presented by: Anne M. Suskind, MD, MS, FACS, FPMRS, Associate Professor of Urology; Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Director, Neurourology, Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery, UCSF Department of Urology
Written by: Gina B. Carithers at the Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine & Urogenital Reconstruction Winter Meeting, SUFU 2020, February 25 - February 29, 2020, Scottsdale, Arizona