Why is peer mentoring important? Peer mentorship pairs together like-minded nurses and nurse practitioners who are in a similar season of their life to support one another.
If any of the following statements ring true for you, you could be a great candidate for a mentoring program and may benefit from the guidance that mentorship can provide:
- I often feel self-doubt or like I’m not good enough.
- I sometimes wish I had more confidence.
- Even if I don’t always meet my goals or deadlines, I still consider myself a high achiever.
- In certain situations and areas of life, people tend to come to me for advice.
- I get great satisfaction and fulfillment when I help someone.
- I sometimes feel like I’m the only one who thinks and feels the way that I do.
Imposter Syndrome is a Universal Experience
I see an overwhelming amount of new nurses struggle with imposter syndrome, fear, doubt, overwhelm, and lack of confidence. (to name a few).
It affects everybody. But you don’t have to face it alone.
One of the best ways to combat emotional turbulence is to get peer mentorship –
A go-to squad to talk through your challenges with and move through together!
If you’re looking to create a peer mentorship group of your own,
Or if you want to connect and enhance your supportive relationships, today’s podcast will show you how!
In today’s episode, I’m sharing:
- How imposter syndrome affects all of us (and what it can lead to)
- What is a peer mentoring group – You may already be in one and not know it!
- Five action plans you can copy & apply with your group today.
LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED TODAY:
- Click Here To Read The Full Transcription for this episode!
- Episode #010: New Grad Mindset and How To Overcome Imposter Syndrome: Click here to listen
- 📣 The NP Society AND the new NP Mentorship Program are open for enrollment through Friday, February 4th. For more information, head to www.thenpsociety.com
- If you enjoyed this episode and would like to support me in being able to create new & valuable content for The Nurse Becoming Podcast, buy me a coffee here ☕️ 😊
Listen to more episodes here!
What can peer mentorship look like?
Peer mentorship allows you to both share your experiences, which may reveal shared feelings of inadequacy or self doubt. Sharing these experiences is an excellent first step to moving through those feelings in order to come out on the other side of this imposter syndrome.
Oftentimes, your peers can help validate your feelings and your experience, which is another way of moving through these feelings. Being in a group of peers, meaning people who are going through what you’re going through around the same time as you or who are just one little step ahead can be really helpful.
Being in a mentorship relationship can often involve giving advice. When you think of the word mentorship, you might assume that it’s someone who’s 10 years ahead mentoring someone who’s new- but that’s not always the case. You don’t always have to be able to give concrete advice in order to mentor someone.
Mentorship can also look like:
- Active listening
- Showing empathy
- Asking reflective questions that can help someone process through their experience and come to their own conclusions.
Peer mentorship relationships can often last a long time, often longer than more formal relationships that are separated by a lot of years. This may be because you are moving through similar phases of life or growth together, which tends to really strengthen the bond of the relationship.
If you’re curious about peer mentorship, know that you can start from anywhere!
You can start with a mentorship of your group of friends, or with colleagues. Or maybe you have some people in mind who could serve this purpose in your life.
Five Plans To Make The Most of Your Peer-Led Mentorship
#1. Name Your Group
Talk to your group of friends, or classmates or colleagues, about making the group a bit more formal. Decide on a name for it by defining the benefit that you are hoping this relationship can provide.
You might go up to someone you have in mind as a fit for this new group and say, “Hey, I was listening to a podcast that talked about friend groups, at work, or at school being really great opportunities for peer mentorship, how do you feel about making this friend group a bit more official?”
Watch what happens when you open the door to that conversation, and step into a little bit of a bigger purpose!
#2. Define The Group
Depending on how everyone in the group feels about this, decide together what the group will do to provide the space for mentorship.
How are you going to communicate? How are you going to connect? Where are you going to create this space? For example, will you have a group text thread and set a parameter that everyone should check in once a week? Or will you have meetups in person? Virtual meetups? Perhaps you will meet asynchronously on an app like Voxer or Marco Polo.
Decide what you need to have in place to get out of it what you want!
#3. Schedule Your Next Meet Up
Get your meetings on the calendar and show up for your meetups. This is where you actually have to make sure that you’re scheduling the time to do the work that you are committing to what this group will do for you.
If you’re someone who struggles with the follow through, or you have no shortage of great ideas but have trouble turning into reality, hopefully there is at least someone in your group who can be in charge of the scheduling to make sure that you are all moving forward. Don’t just create the group and stop there. Take it all the way through and make sure that you are connecting with your group!
When you meet, try to ensure dedicated time for each group member to share what’s going on in their professional life or their student life. Especially if the group is on the bigger side, or if there’s someone who tends to be more introverted, make sure that everyone has time to share what they’re going through. Here are a couple of ways you can do this:
- Divide the meeting into 15 minute chunks and give each person the spotlight for each chunk of time.
- Be really intentional about making sure that you’re asking everybody, “Hey, what are you going through?”, “How can we help you?”, “How can we support you?”
If it’s not your turn, meaning you are not getting the help in this situation, you want to be an engaged listener. Aim to provide both support and solutions to whatever your friend is going through.
#5. Celebrate Wins Together
Remember to acknowledge and celebrate milestones as you move through your time. I want you to incorporate gratitude and positivity as much as possible in your group. If it turns into a “gripe group”, a group that’s just spent complaining, it may not be as productive as you’d hope.
That’s not to say that you can’t ever gripe. There is definitely some healing and some bonding in debriefing and decompressing after certain situations. But if you can commit as a group to always take the next step by ending with some sort of support or solution for each challenge or problem, that will be really helpful and make sure that it doesn’t turn into a negative or toxic cycle of staying stuck in the same problems.
Looking For A Mentor?
If all this sounds good to you, and you’re looking for this opportunity, I want to let you know that The NP Society Mentorship Program is now open for enrollment.
Inside The NP Society, which is my online membership community for nurse practitioners, we’ve added on an additional layer of an involved program called The NP Society Group Mentorship Program.
It’s a 12-week program, which includes virtual calls, a dedicated chat container, and a curriculum designed to help new nurse practitioners transition to their new role. I really hope that you’ll consider joining us! You can get all the details at thenpsociety.com.
I hope this has been helpful. Go out, find your peer mentor squad and just remember how important it is to have connection and community in your life. Not just for your professional happiness, but for your overall happiness.
Be good to each other!
If you are ready to become the NP you always wanted to be, then NP Society membership is the place for you. This is a community that is designed for Nurse Practitioners (and students) to thrive beyond the clinical setting. Head to www.thenpsociety.com to choose your membership level today!