User Guides

How to Reflect and Summarize

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The ability to reflect on and summarize what your partner has said is part of being an active listener and will improve the effectiveness of your session. 


Reflect on what you hear -
Listen to your partner’s words and think deeply about it. Try to understand where they are coming from, what they mean and come up with your own ideas or thoughts on the subject. This shows your partner that you are listening and carefully considering what they have to say.


Observe –
You should also pay attention to non-verbal cues and behavior you see. You may say, “I noticed you looked down when you said that…”, or “It seemed like your voice softened when you mentioned that person. Is there something more you want to say about them?” 


Summarize -
Periodically, summarize what you have heard and check that it’s accurate. Summarizing and checking shows you’ve been listening and understanding what your mentoring partner has said. You may rephrase what they said and ask if it’s what they meant. It also helps you recollect important points they have mentioned or clarify anything that was unclear.

Give a shortened version of what you’ve heard by stating the key facts. Don’t try to interpret or add to it. Use this skill when you feel ideas are getting confusing, or when there seems to be more than one issue on the table.

You may use the Notes tab to summarize and keep track of any ideas or key points discussed during the Session so you have it handy for later. You may also refer to it before your next Session and keep track of your progress.

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How to Build a Relationship with Your Mentor

Good communication skills support strong mentoring relationships. 
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Time you spend building rapport with your mentor will pay you back with deeper conversations and more meaningful mentoring. 

Here are the key components you need to build the relationship -

1. Confidentiality is the cornerstone of a mentoring relationship and essential for both you and your mentor.
Do not discuss anything your mentor shares with you outside of your meeting unless you get permission to do so. You can write private messages by going into a current Mentorship and clicking on the Messages tab – other mentors and mentees can’t see these interactions.

2. Building rapport and trust are essential. Here are some ways you can build trust:

  • Spend the first meeting getting to know each other. Don’t dive into problems and solutions too soon. 
  • Live up to your commitments. Keep track of your goals, tasks and notes in the Mentoring Relationship.
  • Be prepared to be vulnerable. Your mentor is not there to judge you.
  • Ask for and be open to frank feedback even when it’s uncomfortable to hear. 

3. Good communication skills support strong mentoring relationships. 

Sync your calendars so it’s easier to schedule meetings and avoid conflicts. Simply go to “Settings”, then click on “General Preferences” and “Connect Calendar” to connect with your desired calendar account.

It is also important to be conscious of how you’re communicating with your mentor, both verbally and non-verbally.

  • Maintain an open and relaxed posture. Turn your body towards your mentor.
  • Make eye contact if it is culturally acceptable.
  • Nod or make small affirmations to show you are actively listening. 
  • Ask questions. 

Maintaining confidentiality, building rapport and using effective interpersonal communication skills will help you build a strong relationship with your mentor so both of you benefit from the experience.