Emotional well-being is key to mentorship, CPO researchers tell Harvard Business Review

November 10, 2020


Tending to emotional well-being is at the core of the mentor-mentee relationship, write Center for Positive Organizations (CPO) faculty associates David P. Fessell and Sanjay Saint in the Harvard Business Review article “Mentoring During a Crisis.”

The article—co-authored with Vineet Chopra, an Associate Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Hospital Medicine at Michigan Medicine—focuses on the critical role mentorship can play for frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“You as a mentor can play a critical role, providing them with a stabilizing force, someone who can help talk them down when they’re triggered, scared, burned out, or confused—all off the record,” the researchers write.

“If you consider yourself a mentor to someone on the front lines, the first step is to take care of yourself. You can’t offer emotional support if you don’t have your own emotional fortifications in place. Then you can turn to helping your mentees by offering them emotional support and concrete tactics.”

Fessell is author of numerous peer-reviewed radiology publications, is a creativity consultant, executive coach, and Professor of Radiology at the University of Michigan. He also co-directs the Leadership curriculum for medical students at the University of Michigan.

Saint is the Chief of Medicine at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and the George Dock Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan.