We Need A Name For It
Thanks to Wayfarer Scientista for hosting this month's Scientiae Carnival and for suggesting mentoring for a theme. I've been very fortunate in both the mentors I've had and in the people to whom I've been able to provide some mentoring. Both types of relationships are useful and important; but I think the best thing is when the mentor/mentee relationship morphs into something else; something where the power dynamic (and heaven knows there is a big power dynamic in mentoring) blurs and sometimes even goes away. In this new relationship sometimes you learn from and are corrected by the other person; other times you are the one doing the teaching and correcting and you have each other's back.
I don't have a name for this relationship—it's not colleagues; it's much more than that. Neither is it a friendship, although often deep and lasting friendships are a part it. Whatever it is called when you have it, you know it and your work and your life are better for it. My goal is to move as many as possible of my mentor/mentee relationships to this relationship and who knows maybe even figure out a name for it.
PS I wanted to name names but was worried I would leave someone out. So thank you all—you know who you are (at least I hope you do).