Learn, Share, Grow: Join the AAOE Mentoring Program Today!
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Posted by: Alyssa DelPrete, AAOE Communications
Having a professional mentor can be an important step toward a successful career. As a mentor, it can be rewarding to share insight and advice with a mentee who is experiencing something you have already gone through. Whether serving as a mentor or mentee, meaningful coaching relationships can be cultivated through the AAOE Mentoring Program.
The program was started a few years ago as outreach to new members according to ALPS Committee Chair Michaele Morrison, MBA, CMPE, All Podiatry Group, who was involved in the initial development of the program. Many new members joined AAOE with a wealth of knowledge but limited experience in orthopaedics. The benefit of joining a professional association such as AAOE is that there are members who possess the experience and knowledge new members may be seeking when they join. The Mentoring Program sought to make this connection even easier.
And now, because even experienced professionals can face new tasks or problems, the ALPS Committee is reaching out to all members who may be interested in becoming mentees. There is much to be gained from coaching relationships at all levels of experience.
“It’s a two-way street—learning something every time you are talking [to your mentor or mentee],” Morrison says, stressing how rewarding it can be.
The mentee undoubtedly benefits from the experience, but the mentor, Morrison explains, can also gain from the relationship. Mentors often have much they can learn from their mentees if they allow the discussion to unfold in this way. “It’s amazing because you’re talking about one thing to [your mentee], but somehow get sidetracked,” Morrison shares, “and you start talking and learning from them.”
For anyone considering becoming a mentor, Morrison says the main qualification is the ability to dedicate time to the coaching relationship and a willingness to share. “A mentor really needs to enjoy people and want to share what they know.”
The period of time required for each mentoring relationship varies—anywhere from a couple of months to a year depending on the nature of the mentee’s need. Morrison shares that in her AAOE mentoring experience, she has had short-term coaching relationships for tasks that were very focused on making a specific decision. She also has worked with mentees for six months to a year, talking just once a month for longer-term, strategic goals.
For successful mentoring experiences, it is important for the mentee to clearly define what he or she is seeking from a mentor. “The more specific they can be, the better it will be,” Morrison says. “We will find the perfect match for them so it’s someone with experience in that area … We want to know what we’re looking for and make sure we can help with that.”
Morrison’s biggest piece of advice is that mentors realize the impact the relationship they form with their mentees can have on their lives.
“I think when we reach out to members to be mentors we need to make sure that they know it’s a two-way street. This person you’re going to meet is going to share with you and you will get more than you imagined.”
Interested in becoming a mentor or mentee? Click here to apply!
Questions? Contact AAOE member services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-247-9699.