Introduce myself – have been reflecting on the mentors – formal and informal – from whom I’ve learnt.. can learn from the bad as well as the good! A little bit about myself – soc work profession, chn and families, pall care, Mac team – chose to have a soc worker rather than another health care worker. Later – combined this with part-time post as senior lecturer at OB – Dip and degree in pc – and delivered in Nairobi – and then further combined it with my doctoral research – nearly killed me remembering which way I drove of a morning depending on whetheri Iwas going to Windsor for mac team, Oxford for OB or Southampton uni for PhD! In terms of overseas experience, it is Africa based – vol for CIIR, Mandera (to dangerous to return now – Catholic Sisters taken hostagethe other year, would be too obvious a target, Nairobi teaching in a primary school, then from 2001 to 2008 teaching a study block most years, then WC travelling Fellowship in 2007 ( Eliz Grant – both at same medallion presentation). Set up PCW in 2008, 6 co-director, collaborative not-for-profit consultancy – just returned form Tanzania where K and I delivered a week’s teaching based on the Toolkit. Did a similar thing last year and K has just negotiated for us to deliver another week for Aids Relief next January. We’ve also bid for several research and evaluation, policy work – so far without success.
In pars – a one sentence definition – or key words
Here are some I prepared earlier – delib not taken from pall car lit – it is possible to learn from others outwith your own profession or discipline!
Emphasise rapport... ( Qu – do you agree with this?)
Coaching, counselling, sponsorship, teaching – entirely agree or any queries?
Story – Odysseus is abuot to nip off to war to get rid of the Trojans and asks his old friend mentor to keep an eye on his young son Telemachuus and be his guardian. Well, in terms of wars think Iraq and Afghanistan – they take longer than you think – and poor old Od was away for 20years. History does not record whether Od uttered those immortal words ‘I may be some time’ but perhaps he should have done. Mentor being an upright and faithful friend, stayed at his post and was T’s guide (and father figure) all through those years and into manhood. – Note the clues in the picture – seniority – beard, offering counsel. Tele – young, black head of hair, youthful dress, respectful demeanor – would that this was always the way for those of us who try to impart our wisdom to the young...! Teaching/education is the process of casting false pears before real swine...
Supervision – latin derivation is instructive – overseer – authority, critical – helpfulness is not the first notion that springs to mind Coaching – tells you how – when I was doing swimming coaching – angle of hands, arm action, breathing technique – very specific – one right way.. Training – similarities Modelling – preaching by example – do as you would be done by – a way of life, an attitude, rather than a set of instructions or exhortations (work colleague, young man, who always saw the best in people, looked for the positive, constructive – tried to adopt this approach – curiously more successful at work than at home! Teaching – encompasses some/all of the above – depends on your notion of teaching – but ideal – teaching people to think ( in pall care psychosocial) to know mechanically – morphine doses, analgesic ladder
This is a personal ‘take’ on mentoring – and not exclusive, complete – a work in progress – so you may be able to think of others... Who has had experience of them – hands up, one by one...
Specific task – e.g. collaborative writing of an article – set out task to begin with, comment on drafts, urge, encourage, advise Technological – a mechanism rather than a type, strictly – not face to face – so limitations – no body language clues, no tone of voice – eamisl can be seductive but dangerous... Accompanied – the most intense form – and perhaps the most risky for the mentor –because you are an expert who is out of your comfort zone. - vulnerable
Contract - is about expectations and limitations –need to be articulated. So, inprs/threes first, then join in two pairs – in a long-distance –email/skype mentoring set-up with someone in another location what would you put in the contract..... (have a pretend mobile phone – make 2 am call...) Face to face abroad? Expertise – think more widely than just the core expertise – your professional identity as a social worker/educator/researcher/doctor. What other expertise do yu think you have – do they think you have.... WCMT Fellowship –focus on pall care educ and supporting chn-but found I was expected to pontificate about user groups – had some knowledge – more than them, so therefore an expert? Or discount/resist the ascription of expert? May have expertise in advocacy, persuading, presentations, IT, managing meetings – think carefully about what is legit to a) claim, b)offer c) decline/avoid. Personal relationship – eg mentor and telemachus. Sense of valuing and being valued ( but not overtly parent/child, not TA – or need to move it along) (polish sw colleague... And problem when she couldn’t shift, unlike superivisor in Windsor who became research colleague and shifted to being in more of a mentee position – managed it with grace.))
I’m sure this is just a reminder – all familiar with listening skills, body language and the encouraging conversation hooks. Eye – the interrogative eyebrow, followed by a pause.... An invitation to expand, reflect rather than an inquisition or an instruction ( ‘In’ words) Frances Sheldon – a brilliant exponent of this approach – quiet, unobtrusive, but effective
Modelling – what you are speaks volumes – need for consistency. Have learn whatever communication skills I have from watching other who I admire and respect – then reflection, analysis, having a go, adapting (can’t slavishly mimic...) Analytical skills – will pick that up in a minute Feedback – really important, essential –mind you needs to be right type of feedback. Preacher on trial story – I do like your hair! The sandwich approach – positive, critical, positive – but proportions are key - is it a doorstep sandwich – all bread and no filling (criticism) or is it so meaty (strong meat that it is indigestible?)
Analysis –a key skill – being able to pick out the key issues, what is really going on –useful to have a structure – there are several but I’m v familiar with Gibbs Are you familiar with this – there are other models, so OK to find another – I’m just familiar and comfortable with this one... Illustrate with an example (amusing?) (marking learning contracts – essays that were a reflective dialogue) Ask them to metally think of an incident and use the RF
Not all of us are born like Mentor – but all of us can make ourselves more like him!! Skills – first, observe and analyse – so take a minute, just privately, to think of those people – profs, friends, family members who have been, in some way a mentor ( good or bad) Already you have some guidelines on which to build – why, what made them good or poor mentors – analysis. ( conversation witha nieghbour) Developing your skills probably do some informal mentoring already – how do you know how you are doing? Do you ask for feedback? Have got a feedback or evaluation sheet that you give out? Do you seek feedback form a critical friend – someone who likes you even though they know you! Learning from others – have covered already Reflection, r, r, to misquote tony Blair – no substitute. Reflect in action and on action (Schon) – as it happens and then at leisure, at a distance (e.g. our Toolkit teaching –spiritual exercise – immediate reaction and later one may be different. Emulate Hamlet – importance of ‘thinking on’t’
Assuming you are hoping to go overseas – not necessarily strictly as a mentor, but undoubtedly will find yourself in that role to a certain extent – here are some key questions to ask yourself: Suggest Margolis wheel – 3s or 4s if room lends itself – one question each time and outer circle move round. Then take feedback.
Prep – bone up on your country and setting. Contract – as said before – if there isn’t one, set one out in an email and send it, tactfully –is this what we both understand? Realism – starting my Phd –you are not going to discover great things, set the academic world on fire, you will make a valuable contribution in a small area. You can only do so much, don’t take the entire health system on your shoulders.. Critical friend – someone you respect, who can say critical things to you – and has, in the past – now is not the time to start learning, you need someone who is already comfortable doing that. Reflection – needs to become part of you Realism – in the moment realism - not what you ought to do, but what could you do, what is possible, feasible etc Feedback – find a way of getting feedback while you are there – build in a review... Debrief – essential – either through the org that sent/sponsored you, or your critical friend
Win-win – you gain and they gain You learn – I learnt as much if not more from being a Volunteer in Mandera, border of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia – as I gave Engaging with another culture – should make you more critical of your own, wvenhwile you long desperately for a decent cup of tea and a bacon and eggs breakfast! Ask questions – people appreciate it if you show an interest, try and understand the reasons for cultural norms etc. Expert and innocent – you tread a tightrope.. Walk humbly – don’t be seduced by ascription s of omnipotence, wonderful though it is for your self-esteem.
Remember – this is a good motto to engrave on your heart and mind – pin it up on your desk, bedhead
Dr Gillian Chowns Co-director, Palliative Care Works Visiting Fellow, University of Southampton
<ul><li>Love is .. cleaning the bath after you’ve used it </li></ul>
<ul><li>Mentoring is the process of using specially selected and trained individuals to provide guidance, pragmatic advice and continuing support, which will help the person allocated to them to learn and develop. </li></ul><ul><li>Armstrong 2006 </li></ul>
<ul><li>The mentor is typically an expert in an area or is a leader within an organisation. They are able to offer advice, guidance and support. A mentor may choose to use coaching techniques within the mentoring relationship. Rapport is essential. </li></ul><ul><li> Mullins 2007 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
<ul><li>The mentor is a senior (person) who sponsors and supports a less-experienced person. The mentoring role includes coaching, counselling and sponsorship. Successful mentors are good teachers . </li></ul><ul><li>Robbins 2003 </li></ul>
<ul><li>Academic mentoring – guiding a student through a course, written task (essay, dissertation etc), research </li></ul><ul><li>Practical mentoring – being available for advice, guidance, ‘listening ear’ for a practitioner ; expert advice + emotional support + longer-term relationship </li></ul>
<ul><li>Specific task mentoring ; clearly-defined, one-off task/activity/project during which mentor is available to mentee. </li></ul><ul><li>Technological mentoring – through emails, Skype etc </li></ul><ul><li>Accompanied (face-to-face) mentoring abroad – when a mentor travels to work alongside a mentee in another setting or organisation or country. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
<ul><li>Clear contract -boundaries and accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Personal relationship - trust and respect </li></ul>
<ul><li>EXTRACT FROM REFLECTIVE ESSAY </li></ul><ul><li>After all we are human with feelings and get attached to our patients. Besides sometimes the situations remind us of our own personal experiences. </li></ul><ul><li>You have described your feelings well, Mildred. </li></ul><ul><li>The next paragraph probably belongs more in the Evaluation section. </li></ul><ul><li> John was a broken man. However during the time that we were providing care for his daughter, I had anticipated that his grieving would be difficult as he was loosing his only surviving family member from his immediate family. (Did you ever find what was the cause of the death of the other family members? Could this have had an impact in his grief and bereavement?) </li></ul>
<ul><li>Nature v. nurture – born or made? </li></ul><ul><li>Developing your skills </li></ul><ul><li>Learning from others </li></ul><ul><li>Reflection, reflection, reflection </li></ul>(with apologies to Barack Obama and the Palliative Care Toolkit)
<ul><li>Motivation - why do you want to do it? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you bring to the task? (S) </li></ul><ul><li>What more do you need to bring – and how will you do this? (W) </li></ul><ul><li>What do you (they) want (you) to achieve? (O) </li></ul><ul><li>What are the likely challenges? (T) </li></ul>
<ul><li>The win-win situation </li></ul><ul><li>Mutual learning and development </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging with another culture </li></ul><ul><li>Expert and innocent </li></ul>
<ul><li>Armstrong, M. (2006) A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice. Kogan Page </li></ul><ul><li>Gibbs, G. (1988) Learning by Doing. Oxford </li></ul><ul><li>Mullins, L. (2007) Management & Organisational Behaviour . Prentice Hall </li></ul><ul><li>Olweny , C. (1994) Letter in Journal of Palliative Care, 11(1); p56 </li></ul><ul><li>Robbins, S. (2003) Organizational Behavior. Prentice Hall </li></ul>
<ul><li>Dr Gillian Chowns </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Palliative Care Works </li></ul><ul><li>www.palliativecareworks.org.uk </li></ul>