I am participating in the LLAMA mentoring program, and as I’m not really sure how the whole formalized mentoring program works, I figured I would read up on it. I started with this book, The Mentee’s Guide to Mentoring, to get a better idea of how programs like this are run, and what I should expect. It was a short, informative read, that I would recommend for both mentors and mentees in formal mentoring programs. I think this was the most useful quote:
“The bond of trust – the belief that the mentor is acting in the best interests of the mentee – is the cornerstone of the successful mentor-mentee relationship.”
I think this is sometimes easy to forget, especially when feedback or comments are not always what someone wants to hear. I think this applies to most relationships – coworker-coworker, boss-employee, friend-friend. Of course there are those few crazy, manipulative, pure evil people out there, but in general, I think you should be able to trust most people you work with, or someone with whom you already have a friendly relationship in some sense. I am part of the instructional services team, and I can honestly say that I think the other people on my team try to do things in the best interests of everyone on the team. But in relationships that are not as familiar, friendly, or regular, it can be easy to forget. I won’t meet my assigned mentor until ALA Annual in June, but we’ve briefly corresponded via email, and my mentor seems to genuinely have my best interests in mind. This is definitely something to remember when I get feedback I don’t necessarily like, and it will definitely be a challenge. But that’s the point of a mentoring program, right? We start with the assumption of a trusting relationship, rather than having to build trust over time. We’ll see how the program goes!