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Virtual Conference Attendance Worked: I was Amazed at How Much I Learned!

I suddenly found myself able to attend the American Evaluation Association (AEA) annual conference virtually because I had a relatively open schedule during the conference days of Oct. 31-November 3, 2018 (Wednesday afternoon-Saturday afternoon). I didn’t know until close to the conference time that AEA would have virtual access – and not just to the Opening Plenary.
Thanks, AEA, for the free and excellent streaming access to Presidential Strand sessions!
So I began attending the virtual sessions. And I was deliberate and diligent in engaging with the conference Twitter hashtag #Eval18 (and other variations).
By the 2nd day afternoon, I realized what a full picture I was getting of the conference even though I wasn’t there. Attending tweeters were keeping us updated on all aspects of the conference. And I found myself reading threads and going back to the program abstracts to learn more about sessions that weren’t streamed but whose content impressed an attendee enough to write a tweet.
A…
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Realizing a BIG goal - or What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Since I formally incorporated providing external mentoring about a decade ago, I have had a goal of reaching a wider audience. I kept up on various technologies and mostly kept a list of ideas every time I saw an opportunity for a 1-to-many outreach. I thought about doing 30-second daily mentor tip using SoundCloud (audio recording) after seeing how Baratunde Thurston was using it to reach people. Then I explored hosting a Google Hangout to 'broadcast' to anyone anywhere but the initial Hangout software wasn’t really very user-friendly. I even got Snapchat glasses a few years ago thinking they might help me make video clips to share, but they weren’t a solution either.

Well, I never got very far on any of these or others although I did expand my mentoring 'coverage' to working with more formal programs as well as mentoring individual clients.
Several months ago, I was able to expand the mentoring seminars, workshops and consultations I had been doing with my public healt…

Expanding Mentoring Help from SueMentors: A New Webinar

I enjoy the individual mentoring that I do for organizations and for personal clients. For several years, I’ve wanted to make mentoring help more widely available. Writing my blog was a start at that.
But my mentor-mentee interactions have reinforced that mentees want – and need – real-time examples of advice that addresses their issues.
So I am pleased to be partnering with my graduate alma mater, the Tulane University Office of Alumni Relations, to initiate a monthly Mentoring Help webinar, with the first webinar in May 2018. The 30-minute format will include 3 sections: A brief review of the mentoring topic for the monthA case example of the mentoring topic with a mentee and mentor working through the mentee's issue in real timeSueMentor’s Question Time (aka answering questions submitted in advance of the webinar).


This form solicits information from you about your interest in attending the webinars, identification of the issue(s) that you'd like the mentor to address, and des…

2017 – Sue’s Year in Review

The last time I did a Year in Review was at the end of 2014. (See Sue's Year in Review, http://www.suementors.com/2014/12/sues-year-in-review.html.)
It was one of my first real forays into better communications and dataviz – and I have learned more since then. It’s been helpful that so many evaluators and others are blogging about improvements in communicating our work and even offering free courses and YouTube videos.

The infographic shows what I’ve done and I’m so really happy that my blogging is back – and on the upswing! It’s been wonderful to be able to use my mentoring skills in so many different ways this year - and even to start working on a second journal article.
But doing the review also made me realize what it doesn’t show from 2017: -14 weeks of hospital and acute rehab weeks and 6 of rehab-on-the-mend weeks (including 1 missed-vacation-in-Florida week because I couldn’t fly) for hip-related care -30 days of vacation trips in Wisconsin, St. Thomas (during Hurricane Irma …

Mentor: Barbara Rawlins, Monitoring and Evaluation Team Leader, Maternal and Child Survival Program

Another feature of this blog is bringing you advice and perspectives from people who mentor, by answering 3 questions.
Here are Barbara Rawlins’ responses:
What are mentees looking for? · Career guidance · Technical advice · Moral support · Advice on how to negotiate politically-sensitive or controversial situation
What 1 piece of advice do you give every mentee you work with? Figure out what they want to do (in the long term) and what steps they can take to get there
Why are you interested in mentoring? To support younger colleagues, especially women, to help attain their career goals

Guidance on Mentoring: What is Mentoring?

This brief guide focuses on defining different aspects of mentoring, whether for an individual or for a team, and includes selected reference resources. It is critical that the mentee and mentor both approach their interaction with the same understanding of the nature and scope of the advising that will be offered. This brief guide can serve as a reference for both parties in arriving at that mutual understanding.
Before delving into mentoring, it’s important to be aware that sometimes the terms “mentoring” and “coaching” are used interchangeably despite important differences between them. There are many resources on mentoring and coaching – and almost as many different definitions for each as well as the similarities and overlap between the two (such as shown in the articles on coaching in the resource list below).Also, most people agree that mentoring is NOT training although a mentor or coach may recommend that a mentee obtain additional training.
What is the nature of the mentoring…