Good communication is a key element of any relationship, and a mentoring relationship is no exception. As research mentors, it is not enough to say that we know good communication when we see it. Rather, it is critical that mentors reflect upon and identify characteristics of effective communication and take time to practice communication skills in the session and with their mentees.

Learning Objectives for Effective Communication

  1. Provide constructive feedback
  2. Communicate effectively across diverse dimensions including various backgrounds, disciplines, generations, ethnicities, positions of power, etc.
  3. Use multiple strategies for improving communication (in person, multiple mentees, and within proper personal boundaries)

Readings/Activities to complete before the session
note: links are to PDF files that may either display in your browser or download, depending on your settings

  1. Read Communication Case Study
  2. Read the Interpersonal communication handout

optional additional reading related to communication style

  1. Identify and think about your preferred communication style at work.  How does this style impact communication with your mentees?  Do you talk to mentees about your communication style?  Think also about any communication styles you find challenging.  How does this impact mentoring relationships?  If you don’t know much about your communication style or other communication styles, you can read the Communication Styles Summary handout for a description of one framework.  The Resources page has additional readings on communication styles for more information.