EHL Edmonton hosted a Mentorship Symposium last week with guest speaker Glenda Coleman-Miller MHS, BScN, RN, CHE. Glenda is the Executive Director of Patient Relations and Engagement & Patient Experience, as well as a Patient Concerns Officer with Alberta Health Services. Glenda is an experienced healthcare executive with senior leadership roles in Saskatchewan and Alberta. As a Registered Nurse for over 40 years, she has a strong operational background including program and site leadership for large acute care facilities.
We had 16 attendees at the event, all from various backgrounds including information technology, management, occupational therapy, nursing, education and project management. Glenda graciously shared with us her experience as both a mentee and mentor. She was engaging with attendees, stimulated interesting discussion and answered many of our questions!
Here are a few takeaways from the evening:
- Mentorship is a two way street: As much as we gain as mentees, the mentors also takeaway valuable learning for themselves. For example, if a mentee works in an industry or program area the mentor is not familiar with, the mentor can gain insight in that particular area. To learn more about mentor-mentee relationships watch our first lunch and learn on the fundamentals of mentorship. Glenda shared her experience mentoring a nursing student and shared that the experience has made Glenda reflective of her own practice as a leader – even with something seemingly insignificant as how she answers her office phone.
- Boundaries: We asked Glenda if there were any areas that were off-topic or inappropriate between mentee and mentor. Glenda explained that there aren’t too many areas that would be considered inappropriate to discuss and she explained it would be the mentor’s responsibility to navigate an appropriate response. She spoke about being aware of any conflicts of interests and to be clear about any affiliations at the start to ensure ethical conduct at all times throughout the relationship.
- Breaking Up: Mentorship can last a lifetime and in some cases, it can be short-lived. As we may be in situations where it is not working between a mentor and mentee, we asked Glenda how to appropriately ‘breakup’ with mentor. Glenda’s advice is to be open and honest from the start.
- Busiest people = Mentors: The busiest people are the ones who sign up to be mentors. Glenda reiterated that as a mentee, you should not be fearful of interrupting their schedules. For the majority, people know what they are signing up for. She recommended laying out clear expectations of time commitment and optimal times to be contacted to help guide the process.
- Mentee Benefits: Mentees can benefit greatly from having a mentor. You don’t need to just go to your mentor for challenges you are having at work. Glenda shared that she has assisted mentees with job suitability, interview prep and resume review.
Glenda shared so much with us, there is no way we’d be able to fit all of the insider tidbits on mentorship in this blog post! Don’t miss out on our next event!
We look forward to seeing you all at our February Wine and Cheese event which will again focus on Mentorship! Applications to be a mentee in EHL’s mentorship program will be opening in the coming weeks. Stay tuned to your email updates from EHL and our social media accounts for the application to open as we have limited capacity! Also, we are actively looking for mentors and encourage any interested individuals to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kudos to Glenda for speaking at our event, Alberta Health Services for allowing EHL to use its meeting space and our fabulous EHL members who made it out to the event!