The Power of Passionate Mentoring: Mentoring: More Than Teaching When asked to write this article about my mentoring experiences, I was initially hesitant. I couldn’t think of anyone in particular who I considered a mentor in my career. The problem was that I was thinking of a mentor as someone who actively teaches another person specific skills or “how ... Features
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Features  |   October 01, 2006
The Power of Passionate Mentoring: Mentoring: More Than Teaching
Author Notes
  • Ann W Kummer, is senior director of speech pathology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. She was elected an ASHA Fellow in 2002. Contact her at ann.kummer@cchmc.org.
    Ann W Kummer, is senior director of speech pathology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. She was elected an ASHA Fellow in 2002. Contact her at ann.kummer@cchmc.org.×
Article Information
Professional Issues & Training / Features
Features   |   October 01, 2006
The Power of Passionate Mentoring: Mentoring: More Than Teaching
The ASHA Leader, October 2006, Vol. 11, 39. doi:10.1044/leader.FTR8.11142006.39
The ASHA Leader, October 2006, Vol. 11, 39. doi:10.1044/leader.FTR8.11142006.39
When asked to write this article about my mentoring experiences, I was initially hesitant. I couldn’t think of anyone in particular who I considered a mentor in my career. The problem was that I was thinking of a mentor as someone who actively teaches another person specific skills or “how to do it.” However, as I thought about people who influenced me in my career, I realized that my mentors were those who helped me to develop confidence.
With this in mind, my first mentor was someone who recognized my passion for patients with cleft palate and craniofacial anomalies. I was reading everything I could about this area and working on developing my skills. This person encouraged me to share my knowledge by presenting a seminar at our state association. At that time, I had little confidence in my knowledge and I was terrified of public speaking. However, with her encouragement and confidence in me, I did it. Since that time, I have done hundreds of lectures and seminars and I find that this is one of the things that I now enjoy most about my career.
I also had a “mentoring moment” that influenced me greatly in my career. I was making a capital purchase for my department and the vendor asked what my expected ROI (return on investment) was for the project. At that time, I had no clue what the acronym meant, let alone the actual ROI. I felt stupid and insecure as a result. Fortunately, a colleague helped me to understand that, although I didn’t have much knowledge about business, the salesman didn’t have any knowledge about speech pathology. I began to realize that it’s OK not to know everything, even in my area of expertise. That “aha!” realization has helped me with my confidence and has increased my willingness to do things that are outside of my comfort area.
Now I am in a position to mentor others, particularly as the director of a very large speech-language pathology department. Although I cannot actively teach and advise all of my staff, I try to create a work environment that supports continuous learning and gives employees opportunities to try new things and develop new skills. Most of all, I strive to give employees the confidence to challenge themselves. By helping them to develop confidence, they are then able to achieve their true potential and be the best that they can be.
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October 2006
Volume 11, Issue 14