About This Course

This is a short course for faculty mentors.

The course content is appropriate for faculty members at any career stage, whether you are new to mentoring peers, or a seasoned peer mentor who would like to stay current with issues and expectations of junior colleagues.  The course is oriented for faculty in academic medicine, though many of the principles and processes are relevant more broadly to faculty who mentor peers in any context.

The content is based on growing knowledge of the dynamics of effective mentoring and techniques that yield positive results in mentoring relationships.

There are no formal pre-requisites to take this course. However, it is recommended that you take this course after having mentored a junior faculty peer for some time, or if you are about to enter a formal mentoring relationship with a colleague.  We hope that anyone who is interested in acquiring or enhancing skills that support the needs of a new generation of faculty will find this course helpful to their enacting a positive and highly-effective roles as mentor.

Course Organization

This Faculty Mentor course is split into two main parts:  The Initial Mentoring Meeting and Emotional Intelligence, plus an Introduction and Conclusion. Within each part, there are several modules, and each module has one or more lessons.

The lessons contain vignettes illustrating common interactions between a mentor and mentee, reflection questions for possible discussions in live training, checks for learning, and relevant readings.

The modules on emotional intelligence address aspects of three common experiences by faculty and their mentors: mood, stress, and gender dynamics in mentoring conversations. These experiences often influence the quality and efficacy of mentoring received.

Watching a video and answering its related questions should typically take less than 10 minutes, plus an additional 10 minutes of readings.

The entire course can be concluded in 2-2.5 hours. You may stop and resume the course at any point and you are free to follow the lessons in order, or pick and choose lessons particularly of interest to you.

Table of Contents

ModuleJump Link
Introduction to MentoringAbout this Course
Reference and Tools
Mentors Are…
Initial Mentoring MeetingIntroduction
Desired Mentoring Skills
Starting a Mentoring Relationship
Initial Mentoring Meeting: Take 1, “You’ll be fine!”
Learning Check
Initial Mentoring Meeting: Take 2, “Too helpful”
Learning Check
Effective Mentors Are…
Initial Mentoring Meeting: Take 3
Learning Check
Advice for Mentors
Wrap up
Introduction to Emotional IntelligenceWhy Emotions?
Conceptual Framework
Goleman on Emotional Intelligence
MoodRole of Mood in Formal Mentoring
“Bad Timing”
“Bad Timing” Recap
“Half Full”
“Half Full” Recap
StressManaging Stress in Mentoring Conversations
Preparing for Promotion: “Misalignment”
The Art of Asking for Feedback
Mentoring and GenderGender Awareness and Mentoring Effectiveness
Responding to Difficult Messages: “Psychological Safety”
“Psychological Safety” Recap
Gender Dynamics “Sponsorship”
“Sponsorship” Recap
Final Learning Check
ConclusionBenefits of Mentoring
Action Plan

Learning Objectives

After this course, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize effective and ineffective mentoring conversations
  • Analyze common exchanges between faculty mentors and mentees and how the nature of those exchanges enhance or undermine the relationship
  • Learn ways to establish mutual expectations, ensure commitment, and ask for feedback
  • Appreciate the role of emotions in mentoring and identify evidence-based examples of appropriate responses to various emotional states by mentors and by mentees
  •   Develop awareness of common missteps as well as supportive stances that mentors exhibit when mentoring women in academic medicine

After this course, mentors will be able to:

  • Demonstrate deliberate intention to mentor
  • Describe behaviors and language that accept and affirm mentees
  • Self-assess readiness and skills for mentoring
  • Make an action plan to further develop as a mentor

After this course, mentees will be able to:

  • Predict and prepare for mentoring conversations and possible outcomes
  • Describe effective emotional intelligence applications for “mentoring up”
  • Recognize skillful responses in difficult conversations with mentors

Course Developers

Course Developer: Rania Sanford, EdD, is the Director of Faculty Professional Development and executive coach at the Stanford University School of Medicine.  She publishes and presents on mentoring, and has trained Stanford faculty in mentoring for nearly a decade. She is a certified EQ-i and EQ-360 practitioner.  Read her commentary on the importance of mentoring for the future of the biomedical workforce in Nature here.

Instructional Designer: Jessica Whittemore, MSc, is an Instructional Designer with EdTech at the Stanford University School of Medicine. She combines a passion for science education, art, and learning new things, with an obsession with organization and details, so please let her know if anything in this course needs fixing ( She uses her background in Environmental Justice to support the Stanford School of Medicine’s continued efforts to deliver excellent digital content that improves health disparity outcomes.