How to manage initial feedback as a mentor

Encourage the mentee to make a major contribution about their practice. At first this may be achieved by the mentor's questioning but later in the relationship by the mentee being self-critical and reflective.

However, the mentor should avoid being formulaic. Asking 'How was it for you?' or its equivalent is not helpful if it starts every feedback session. Think about asking the mentee to talk you through their action plan for the session. Offer to talk through the evidence you have collected whilst observing the session. Possibly share your impressions first in order to open up a dialogue with the mentee. You could also offer anecdotes or stories to compare views and perhaps relate these to real-life experiences.

Example questions

Use tone effectively - this should be comforting and not confrontational. Tone is very important, remember that you want the mentee to feel supported and able to reflect on their own practice. Weeks, H. (2001) suggests that if the feedback conveys issues of a negative nature then a neutral tone, 'Houston we have a problem' should be employed.

Example questions

print - back to scenario