Tips for Being a Good Mentor
By Lynne Johnston, RT(R)(M), CRA
If they had not told us at the beginning of their AHRA Spring Conference presentation, no one would have ever guessed that this was the first time Christa Cole and Curtis Bush had presented at a conference. I found their session, “Mentorship: Building Others and Being Built,” to be very informative and helpful in my role as an assistant manager.
We all should strive to become great mentors of others as well as find someone who can mentor us to grow and develop in our current roles. Having a plan and choosing a good match is the beginning of a successful journey. Curtis and Christa gave examples of both good and inadequate mentors they had encountered throughout their careers. They provided a chart that is helpful in determining how to choose someone to mentor by categorizing employees according to their mindset, knowledge, skills, and abilities. Ideally, the person that you would choose to mentor would be a highly committed and highly skilled individual.
Through the use of roleplaying, Curtis and Christa demonstrated how to have conversations with staff members that you may subsequently choose to mentor and develop into a leader. The first step of the process is to have a candid conversation with an individual to understand their goals, who they are, and what drives or motivates them. Try to determine their passion for leadership. The next step or conversation should be centered on who you are as their leader so that they gain a better sense of your career story and your vision for the team, as well as your vision for them. Lastly, validate and align your goals so you can move forward with an individualized development plan. Be sure that your plan includes a time frame in which you anticipate that goals will be attained and that educational needs are met and help to sustain your mentorship program. Curtis and Christa provided an Individual Development Plan worksheet that I intend to utilize as I move forward in developing my own mentorship program.
Overall, this was beneficial and an informative presentation, and I must add that historical Savannah was a beautiful backdrop for this conference. This was my third AHRA conference in this city, and I have enjoyed every one!
Lynne Johnston, RT(R)(M), CRA is the radiology assistant manager at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, CT. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.