What Is Mentorship?

Guidance for Getting Started

DFCM values the contributions of our faculty and is committed to supporting all faculty in addressing their mentorship goals and interests.

“Mentorship is a process of facilitating opportunities for career development, and personal and professional growth and socialization for an individual who is pursuing their interest or goals in a specific profession, community or academic program.”
Diffey, 2010 DMP

Guiding principles

Responsive – Goal-oriented – Confidential 

  • Mentorship is a dynamic, reciprocal relationship leading to positive change both for the career development of the involved individuals and for the cultural development of the department.
  • Important and necessary factors in successful mentoring relationships are a shared value system and mutual respect.
  • The DFCM Mentorship Network is designed to complement the important informal mentoring that is already happening. Participation in this process is entirely voluntary. Mentoring in the DFCM is seen as a “no-fault” relationship, and either person has the option of withdrawing at any time, without risk or harm.

Learn more about mentorship

Mentorship models

  • One-to-one – Traditional method where a more junior individual is matched with a more senior individual              
  • Group – A flexible version of the traditional model where 1-2 mentors are paired with a small group of mentees. In this scenario, mentees can also become mentors to one another.
  • Peer – This model of mentorship can be conducted in a traditional one-to-one or group setting. Those involved will be at the same career stage.
  • Flash – One-time meeting that allows individuals to connect with another DFCM faculty member. A great way to ask a particular question or meet someone new. These are generally shorter meetings so there is little investment required. If the meeting is beneficial, the pair can organize follow-up meetings on their own.
  • Reverse – The opposite of the traditional one-to-one mentorship model, where a more senior individual looks to gain insights from a more junior individual. This provides the senior member with a new perspective and allows junior members to gain valuable leadership skills and values their opinion.

Four phases of mentorship

1. Initiation – The preparation stage. Determining your readiness to engage in a mentoring relationship and starting the matching process. Consider what you are hoping to gain from this experience and the mentorship model that best aligns with these goals. Get to know your mentee/mentor and begin to build a rapport together.

2. Negotiation – Determine your goals for the mentoring relationship. Set clear boundaries and expectations.

3. Enabling – This is when the work begins. Come to your session(s) prepared and be respectful of established boundaries and or agreements. Mentors will provide constructive feedback and the mentee will apply this to help work towards their goals.

4. Coming to closure – The reflection stage. Reflect on your mentorship experiences and celebrate your accomplishments. Determine areas of growth and next steps after the partnership/activity closes.