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Rolfe calls out that skills and techniques are important, however a mentoring mindset is just as valuable. The mentoring mindset includes the essential attitudes, values or philosophy with which people approach their role in mentoring (Rolfe, 2021). This mentoring mindset goes beyond simply creating a culture that fosters mentoring relationships, but also structures mentoring in a helpful way including behaviors such as being constructive, respecting difference and diversity, and cultivating positive progress.

One study showed the disparity between the need for mentoring and the actuality of it occurring. Of the 329 respondents in the study (65% response rate), 93% reported that it is important to have a mentor during medical residency, but only half identified a current or past mentor. Interns were significantly less likely to establish a mentoring relationship than their peers. Mentored residents were nearly twice as likely to describe excellent career preparation (Ramanan et al., 2006).

While mentorship is a common concept, Shirley Liu talks of the positive results that could be achieved if more people took on the role of mentor. She plays this out by considering the power and reach of just a 1% increase in worldwide mentors (Liu, 2019). Related to the need for expansion, there is also the existence of the dark side of mentoring. This refers to challenges such as mentor access, negative relationships, and ethics (Ivey & Dupré, 2020).

Mentoring Mind-set: About
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