Mentoring and it's Role for HIT Executives : A HIMSS13 Primer
by Greg Reid
If expanding your healthcare technology mentoring network isn’t among your top priorities at HIMSS13, then add it to your list. And put it up high, because opportunities abound.
With the HIMSS Health IT Career Services Center providing chances to connect with nearly 20 top thought-leaders involved in the Health IT Executive eMentor Program, you’ll want to make the most of your interactions.
For tips on mentoring, we checked in with David Finn CISA, CISM, CRISC. Finn, the health information technology officer at Symantec, will present a light-hearted but insightful session on the topic, “Meaningful Mentoring or Mentoring for Fun & Profit (Everybody's).”
Here is David's primer on mentoring and how to maximize your interactions.
WHY GET INVOLVED?
Strength in numbers. To attract and keep the brightest stars in health IT career paths, we need to foster opportunities that will pique interest and nurture development. Mentoring can help people find what they’re looking for in a health IT career.
Personal development. These days, no one person can be expected to know all there is to know. The fact is, the smartest people in the room don’t know all the answers. Rather, they know who knows the answers.
Professional care team. Finn suggests we consider healthcare career mentoring in medical terms. Physicians treat patients through teams of care, which involve doctors, pharmacists, radiologists, nurses, and so on. Each team member has an area of expertise that informs the others’ work. Similarly, a well-developed team of mentors will help IT professionals care for their careers.
KNOW THE BASICS
Assess needs. Have a sense of where you are and where you are going. Clarify your vision of what you want a particular mentoring relationship to be. Understand your areas of expertise and skills, as well as the gaps in your portfolio. You might not present a list to a potential mentor, but you should at least have one in mind.
Mentoring as a relationship. There is a level of commitment required to care and feed any relationship, including those between mentors and mentees. Sometimes it just ends, and that’s unsatisfactory to everyone. With proper management, when the time comes to move on, a separation of ways can be brought about in a way acceptable to both parties.
Propulsion, not promotion. Rather than seeking out someone to help acquire raises or promotions, mentees should seek mentors who can offer longer-lasting professional rewards, such as experience, knowledge and perspective on health it career decisions. Advancement may follow, but it shouldn’t drive the relationship.
Something to offer. Each person brings something to the table. Mentees might offer a whole new vision and energy level to a mentor, who, in turn, will temper that with experience and knowledge. Older professionals, brought up under old systems, sometimes need insights from younger professionals, who aren’t burdened by old ways.
Different forms of mentoring. Like every other relationship, each mentoring experience is unique, with its own cadence and purpose. Take care in recognizing the nuances of each one.
Careers, not work. Mentoring at its best helps people grow in their professional lives, not complete projects at the office. Though daily work relationships may have mentoring aspects about them, it is important to distinguish one type of work from the other.
Real insight, virtual world. While nothing can replace the in-person interaction, programs such as the Executive eMentoring Program, are launching mentoring opportunities into the virtual world. Once you establish a mentoring relationship, meaningful exchanges can be nurtured via the phone, Skype, texting, email and blog engagement. The medium differs, but the key to success is constant. To truly work with someone, we need to shut out distractions and focus on the person and the topic at hand, just as you would face to face.
ENGAGE with eMENTORS at HIMSS13
3) Look for our HIMSS eMentors once you’re onsite and introduce yourself! They are eager to meet you.
4) Drop in at the HIMSS Career Services Center, located in the River Gate Room of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.