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The College at Brockport Leadership Development Program recognizes that the mentoring of students is an integral part of the higher education leadership development experience. Through this program, the mentoring relationship will assist mentees with their leadership journey by providing resources necessary to assist with their individual, group, and community experiential growth and development.
What is the role of the mentor?
Mentoring relationships are power free and should be based on trust, acknowledgment of mutual benefit, confidentiality, and sound, responsible, and respectful communication. Mentors need to be positive, and provide constructive and honest feedback in a safe, non-judgmental environment. Mentors are facilitators and teachers; they are like a sounding board enabling the individual to discover and determine their development requirements and then work towards developing these requirements. To do this, the mentor will typically:
- establish a non-threatening relationship in which individuals feel safe and secure raising and talking about issues;
- assist the individual to reflect on their actions, thoughts, beliefs, and feelings;
- listen, clarify, reflect on, and, when called for, challenge the individual’s actions, thoughts, and beliefs;
- assist the individual to develop strategies for analyzing and solving problems and becoming effective decision makers, share insights of their own expertise and experience to help the individual’s development, provide guidance to the individual on the topics for discussions.
As a mentor, it is important to establish the parameters and conditions of the mentoring relationship. You are not expected to engage in counseling that should be addressed by an appropriately trained professional. As such, it is important to be honest and only address issues within the realm of your expertise and experience.