Monday, October 29, 2012

This week at the mentoring conference - last day

It should say "last week at the mentoring conference" as it appears I drafted my last post but - alas - never posted. I did, however, make it home and slept for 18 hours.

The final day of the conference was probably the best. Folks were freely talking in the hallways and debating ideas; no one was a stranger anymore. We understood how to pick sessions, reading between the lines of the abstracts to find presenters with topics that mattered to us. It was a bittersweet day because the week had generated so much energy and passion that it felt like we needed one more, larger, facilitated discussion to create some concrete "next steps"... both for the conference and for ourselves. (I should have put that on the evaluation!)

Three notable shout outs from Friday:
  • Christy Pettit of ODScore gave a great presentation on an algorithm they've developed to help mentoring pairs (and teams in general) navigate the communication gaps that can occur with conflicting agendas and approaches.
  • U of Colorado talked about "Including Mindfulness in the Mentoring Relationship" which acknowledged the need for helping people move through emotional stress and refocusing with purpose.
  • U of Massachusetts presented their efforts on "Supporting Faculty of Color and Women through Network-Based Mentoring". They found peer-to-peer and having a community around one made for greater career success. (I am not alone!)
Then we packed up and took advantage of the late Friday afternoon sunshine to drive to Sky City and visit NA's oldest continually inhabited pueblo. At almost 6900ft above sea level, surrounded by pinyon shrubs, wild sage and rocks, it was an incredible experience.

All that was left was to gather up the business cards, let the airline lose my luggage (I just knew it!) and fly back along the advancing edge of hurricane Sandy.

I am humbled by the reception of my fellow attendees. I felt at the heart of the activity and discussions and I look forward to deepening a relationship with many of you.

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