Workshop on Undergraduate Mentoring and Active Listening
A half day workshop on "Undergraduate Mentoring and Active Listening" was held at the Medical Education Department Auditorium, for the academic staff of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya on the18th October 2022. Altogether 21 participated in the workshop.
The workshop was opened by Prof Udaya Ralapanawa, Chairperson Student Affairs Committee who was standing in for the Dean. He stressed not only the importance of undergraduate mentoring but also the need to audit the effectiveness of the program.
After an Introduction to the Faculty Mentoring Program by Rumala Morel, an animated
*Panel Discussion* was held with
Prof Sanjaya Adikari
Dr Irushika Fernando and
Dr Champa Ratnathunga acting as panelists.
This was followed by a session on Active Listening entitled "Talking to your Mentee" by Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Pabasari Ginige which was both entertaining and informative.
Dr Pabasari included many role plays which helped the participants to identify how to and how not to talk with our mentees.
As both senior and new staff were participating the case discussions which followed were extremely valuable. Many staff members explained how they handled difficult situations relating to students. Majority found the sessions on 'Active Listening with Role Play' and the 'Case Discussions' most useful.
Feedback revealed these key takeaways from this workshop:
"Empathy not sympathy is needed. Listen to mentees with attention to understand their issues, Paraphrase to check if I understood what my mentee is saying."
"Active listening is a must. Always try to understand the mentee without giving solutions.
Being approachable. How to handle sensitive issues like gender identity."
"Real case scenarios are very good, we got firsthand experience about do's and don'ts when we meet mentees."
"Because there are specific situations where I didn't know what to do and hearing from experienced counselors was great"
"This workshop answered some of the practical problems I have encountered during student mentoring"
"As a new mentor, I learned a lot about the practical aspects of undergraduate mentoring"