Mentoring circles offer opportunity to learn from colleagues across the laboratory
What do you think about when you hear the word mentoring? What probably comes to mind is the traditional relationship between one mentor and one mentee – often with the mentor being someone with greater experience and longevity within the organization. However, there are other types of mentoring.
Mentoring circles are a form of group or peer mentoring that present an opportunity for individuals at different career stages or working in different areas of an organization to help each other succeed. Human Resource Services and the Women in Science and Technology Program (WIST) are working together to launch and facilitate a mentoring circle program open to all employees.
Each circle will have six to eight participants led by a facilitator. Discussions may center on a specific topic — such as strategic negotiation skills, work-life integration, grant writing — or be free form. Each group will decide what is most effective for its members.
In addition to mentoring circle participants, we also seek facilitators. You don’t need to be an expert to be a facilitator; you simply need a willingness to help the group be effective and to ensure all voices are included and heard. We will support facilitators in this effort, which will include regular facilitator check-ins and feedback. Postdoctoral Program Lead Tina Henne, a trained mediator who has developed the postdoctoral mentoring program, also will add her support and expertise to the program.
Participation in the program is voluntary. We encourage all employees to participate. The mentoring circles will be an opportunity for employees across the laboratory to learn from each other by sharing their knowledge, insight and experience.
If you are interested, please sign up online and take the brief survey. Your responses will help us group individuals based on the time of day they are available, as well as their common interests, and will help us to place you on a path to learning and personal growth.
By Senior Manager Pam Gruszka (HRS), and Interim WIST Program Initiator Emily Zvolanek (EVS)