Beth Person

Career Services Mentoring Report

Organization Demo

Introduction 00

Report for Career Services Staff showing Mentoring tips, troubleshooting and activities

Making the Most of Study Time 01

Quick tips and advice for studying more effectively

Making the Most of Study Time: Time and Energy Overview

Students can get stressed out over how to manage their study time. While time management approaches do help some students, it can help to suggest that Beth pay attention to managing her energy levels as well. To get into this mindset Beth should try to:
  • Understand her personal time clock and attempt to study when she is most alert and creative.
  • Learn about her stress triggers and explore different activities to see which help to reduce stress.
  • Honor her physical needs while studying by moving, stretching, eating, sleeping, and taking breaks when needed.

Making the Most of Study Time: Maintaining Energy

To remain energized when studying, as an ongoing practice Beth should:
  • Make an extra effort to find a quiet spot on her own, or with one or two fellow students.
  • Write out her ideas, sometimes just having to organize her thoughts in writing can help her to understand the material.
  • Take breaks to be alone to reflect and recharge especially when she has had a lot of interaction time with others.

Making the Most of Study Time: Improving Understanding

To increase her understanding when studying, Beth should:
  • Ask herself what are the interesting themes related to the material, and when stuck, circle back to those patterns to re-focus her efforts.
  • Look for or ask for theories to explain why this material is important in order to help her to better understand it.
  • Draw on her imagination to explore if and how what is being taught corresponds with future trends.
Making the Most of Study Time Authors
Original work by: Elizabeth Hirsh Katherine Hirsh © Step Research Corporation

Keys To Better Learning 02

Helping a student identify and leverage their keys to better learning

Identifying Keys to Better Learning

When making suggestions to Beth about how she might have more success in school:
  • Gain credibility and trust by being flexible and allowing her time to reflect on her own.
  • Offer guidance in a logical and objective manner.
  • Give her the underlying significance of what you are suggesting and emphasize how considering this can expand her perspective and open up possibilities to think creatively.
  • Express information objectively so Beth will best hear you.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of developing a personal bond with Beth, relationships are how she learns best. Act as a caring sounding board so that she can feel comfortable being herself around you – what she wants most is to identify practical, everyday benefits and then use them to help herself and those she knows.
Beth may tune out if learning opportunities demand:
  • Participating in group discussions and doing oral presentations instead of independent study and written reports.
  • Hearing about details and specifics first instead of listening to topics described in big picture terms.
  • Building social connections and people skills instead of running statistics or analyzing data.
  • Setting benchmarks and scheduling appointments to monitor understanding and progress instead of free-flowing course goals and ad-hoc get-togethers to strengthen learning.
Fostering Clarity & Fresh Perspectives
  • Tell Beth that when people are feeling confused on any topic, it can affect their experience of school even if their problems aren’t directly related to their coursework. At such times, people tend to seek clarity in different ways.
  • To help Beth gain perspective, have a discussion with her where you support her in drawing on her natural style of reasoning by asking "What is the most logical and objectively correct thing to do?"
  • Reassure Beth that the point is not to have the perfect answer, but instead to free up her thinking and start a conversation about options.
  • If Beth is really stuck, you may want to try asking her this stretch question designed to shake up her typical approach to unraveling confusing or difficult issues: "What is the most immediately enjoyable thing to do?"
  • Help Beth get the most out of the stretch question above (especially if she has trouble with it) by explaining that “This question is actually one that some people – people quite different from you – would naturally ask themselves, so it’s totally normal that it might seem foreign to you, or, for you to feel that it is not even a valid question to consider. So, while it probably feels a bit awkward, being willing to think about this question and trying to look at things from another’s vantage point, might just turn out to be a useful and important way expand your thinking.”
  • Use this as an opportunity to encourage Beth to stay curious about the methods others use to learn and grow when faced with something confusing or difficult. Even when these methods don’t match hers, she may be surprised at what she discovers, even if all she discovers is how not to do things.

Practice new skills: Homework/In-Session Activity

Decision-Making Strengths and Blind Spots
  1. Ask Beth to look at this list of things that could support her learning and pick out TWO items.
  2. Have Beth brainstorm possible ways of adding these to her routine or increasing their frequency if she is already doing them. This can be homework or you can work on it together in the session.
  3. Suggest Beth reflect on how these could improve her learning experience. Ask Beth:
    1. What helps you stay positive and motivated about school? How might some of these strategies increase those feelings?
    2. What helps you to cope when things feel tough or overwhelming? How might some of these techniques improve your coping skills yet further?


Beth Person

I can enhance my educational experience by:

Pick two and then detail possible ways of adding these to your routine.

  • Having unstructured free periods where spontaneity is the order of the day.
  • Taking courses that have a link to real life and what could be of practical benefit to people to keep my enthusiasm stoked.
  • Finding time and space for contemplation on a regular basis.
  • Being in the company of respected and trusted others whose warmth and dedication to helping others I admire.
  • Prioritizing fun, laughter and taking care of my physical needs as an important component in maintaining academic excellence.
Keys To Better Learning Authors
Original work by: Elizabeth Hirsh Katherine Hirsh © Step Research Corporation

Reducing Stress & Building Resilience 03

Each person's unique style influences the way they are affected by stress.

Each person/s unique style influences the way they are affected by stress. Helping them see where their personality supports or hinders them responding effectively to stress can go a long way toward building resilience, reducing stress and overcoming challenges.

Reducing Stress & Building Resilience

  • Caution Beth against seeing perfection as the standard to meet, often it’s worth risking failure rather than doing nothing.
  • Remind Beth that when directness and critique are balanced with diplomacy and praise, others are more receptive to her good ideas.
  • Challenge Beth to let others in on her thinking process sooner – others can’t help if they don’t know what she is considering and may struggle with accepting a pronouncement from Beth if they feel they had no part in shaping it.
  • Appeal to Beth’s natural inclination to do refine her thinking if it improves performance. Help her to see that it is preferable to factor in the logical consequences of her choices on her own and others’ emotional wellbeing – issues can be explored in the abstract but once acted upon, result in outcomes she and others will have to bear.

Troubleshooting Common Problem Behaviors

Hiding behind the belief that "The only truth is a universal truth."

  • Tell Beth “A truth or principle doesn’t become less true solely because it doesn’t capture all possible options, apply across all situations or predict all possible outcomes.”
  • Have a discussion with Beth about how her commitment to creating an all-encompassing framework capturing everything under a single rubric can result in analysis-paralysis and get in the way of finding a “good enough” strategy to allow her to get going.
  • Make clear to Beth that getting so caught up considering the best way to understand something can mean that she never shares her well thought out theories and misses a chance to transform those abstract ideas into an actionable approach that she and others could apply in the real world.
  • If Beth is receptive, suggest she creates a gratitude journal or look at some of the exercises in Tal Ben Shahar’s book Being Happy: You Don't Have to Be Perfect to Lead a Richer, Happier Life for ideas on both how to view things in a more realistic and positive light.

Practice new skills: Homework/In-Session Activity

  1. Ask Beth to look at the list of overuse tendencies and pick out three of the items.
  2. Have Beth explore how the items she chose have adversely affected her life and what she might like to do differently instead. This can be homework or you can work on it together in the session.
  3. Suggest Beth use these prompts to record any new insights, a-ha’s and actions that could be tried.
    1. Keep track of with whom, when and under what circumstances you find yourself overdoing your style in order to improve your ability to recognize which people and situations result in overuse of your preferred strategies.
    2. Note anything that helped you to cope in stressful situations and how this might help you to expand your perspective, try new things or reach out to others more readily.

List of Overuse of Preferred Style ITEMS TO GIVE Beth – She picks 3

Beth Person

Beth may overuse her natural style and increase her stress when she:

  • Fails to recognize that she and the others in her life have an emotional stake in whatever actions she takes.
  • Sees her own feelings as irrelevant if her objective analysis says that something should be good (or bad).
  • Assumes that the proper mood will strike and things will get done without her needing a plan or structure to keep herself on track.
  • Looks at so many options that determining which approaches and opportunities are best becomes overwhelming.
  • Longs for an idealized future when everything will be better, failing to prioritize practical things that could be done now to support her wellness.
  • Excludes or trivializes simpler or more traditional stress reduction techniques, failing to grasp that there is a reason they became traditions.
Reducing Stress & Building Resilience Authors
Original work by: Elizabeth Hirsh Katherine Hirsh © Step Research Corporation

Handling Conflict & Difficult People 04

This section highlights particular strategies, both effective and ineffective, that a person may rely on when faced with conflict.

Handling conflict and difficult people is a challenge for all of us. This section highlights particular strategies, both effective and ineffective, that a person may rely on when faced with conflict. It describes how overuse of certain strategies might inflame rather than reduce conflict unless the person becomes conscious of their limitations. It also enumerates the sorts of difficult people who tend to irritate them as well as the awkward situations that may evoke resistance in them. Finally, it offers tips to help you support the person in developing greater competence and professionalism in conflict resolution.

When Handling Conflict & Difficult People

  • Encourage Beth to step back to allow her normal gift of objectivity to re-emerge before trying to analyze the conflict.
  • Suggest that Beth use thinking aloud and rhetorical questions to help her reflect on the causes of the conflict.
  • Remind Beth that feelings, her own and those of others, are important data points for understanding why conflict occurred and figuring out which solutions are the most are most desirable.
  • Help Beth to see that seeking the truth isn’t only about questioning assumptions and finding flaws in logic; how people feel and what they need has to be considered as well.

Troubleshooting Common Problem Behaviors

Believing there is a universal approach to conflict

  • Tell Beth “ You can’t solve every conflict with a single method no matter how brilliant or theoretically sound.”
  • Have a discussion with name to explore why many conflicts require individualized solutions that address the specific needs and wishes of the people involved.
  • Explain that “While the desire to treat everyone equally is a noble one, when logical principles clash with real people’s needs, care should be taken to find a solution that honors both the ideal of fairness and the feelings of the individuals concerned.”

Being exacting to the point of missing the real issue

  • Tell Beth “Splitting hairs or arguing over precisely what happened can often push people away.”
  • Have a discussion with Beth about how debating others over the particulars of an issue can mean the point gets lost; others feel they aren’t being heard which makes a genuine exchange less likely.
  • Explain that “Many people use nitpicking the facts underlying a conflict as a way to handle emotional distress and feelings of vulnerability.”

Being unsettled by strong emotions

  • Tell Beth “Conflict resolution isn’t simply a matter of rendering an impartial decision about what’s right and wrong.”
  • Have a discussion with Beth to explore how getting in touch with her feelings is rational way to determine what matters most to her during conflict.
  • Explain that “No matter how disorienting it can be when conflict seems emotionally driven, acknowledging the importance of your own and others’ feelings allows you to find solutions that are both personally satisfying and logically sound.”

Practice new skills: Homework/In-Session Activity

  1. Ask Beth to look at this list (SEE LIST BELOW) of people who might trigger her to lose her cool and pick out three items.
  2. Have Beth brainstorm possible ways of staying calm when meeting these sorts of people. This can be homework or you can work on it together in the session.
  3. As a next step or additional homework, suggest Beth record any new conflicts and reflect on them. Have Beth respond, orally or in writing, to the following prompts:
    1. “To improve your ability to recognize which people and situations trigger you, keep track of with whom, when and under what circumstances you lose your cool.”
    2. “To improve your coping skills going forward, note anything that helped you to manage your negative emotions when you couldn’t avoid dealing with these sorts of difficult people.”

List for Homework/In-Session Activity

Beth Person

Beth may be triggered to lose her cool by people who:

  • Seem narrow-minded and inconsistent
  • Focus solely on the current reality
  • Prioritize duty over fun
  • Make emotional appeals
  • Appear to tolerate sloppy thinking
  • Require Beth to rush
  • Make no room for questions
  • Discourage skepticism
  • Want to stick with the known or refuse to look at what’s possible
  • Fail to recognize Beth’s competence
Handling Conflict & Difficult People Authors
Original work by: Elizabeth Hirsh Katherine Hirsh © Step Research Corporation

Evaluating Career Options & Crafting a Career Plan 05

The career search process is not a one-size-fits-all proposition and therefore an important initial step for a person is finding an approach that works for them.

The career search process is not a one-size-fits-all proposition and therefore an important initial step for a person is finding an approach that works for them. Learning more about one’s natural decision-making style as part of a career search is an investment that will have a lifelong positive pay-off across personal and work domains.

Evaluating Career Options & Crafting a Career Plan

A successful search process for Beth is likely to allow her to:
  • Reflect on her own and choose just a few career options to research in depth.
  • Look at her dreams, hunches, and off-the-wall ideas for clues about which career options to consider more deeply.
  • Ask herself whether the possible career choices she has identified have more positives than negatives.
  • Respond to new information, chance meetings, or spontaneous opportunities that keep her career search fresh.
A “yes” answer to these four questions suggests that a particular career option might be satisfying to Beth:
  • Do people in this field value autonomy, independent work, and in-depth consideration of issues?
  • Do people in this field value imagination, insight, and reaching toward an ideal future?
  • Do people in this field value objectivity, critical analysis, and data?
  • Do people in this field value freedom, adaptability, and openness?
feedbackIf a job or practice area doesn’t have these features, Beth will likely find it more difficult to get ahead. However, if she is aware of this and feels ready to handle the challenges that may come with her choice, she may very well make a special contribution through her unique approach to the job, practice area or field.

Practice new skills: Homework/In-Session Activity

Decision-Making Strengths and Blind Spots
  1. Show Beth the Z-Model Handout below, and call out that the processes she likely uses effectively (these are highlighted in blue).
  2. Ask Beth to pick out at least two items that most surprised her from the processes she is less likely to utilize.
  3. Have Beth create an action plan for applying these questions:
    1. When I am selecting which careers to explore, I need to ask myself...
    2. When I am evaluating of the appeal of different careers, I need to ask myself...
    This can be homework or you can work on it together in the session.
  4. Encourage Beth to continue testing her assumptions about what makes for a good career by asking new questions about her career options.

Z-Model Handout

Beth Person

Career Decision-Making

  • How does this career option take advantage of skills I already have?
  • What direct experience do I need?
  • What existing knowledge will I be able to apply?
  • What is the customary entry point for this career?
  • How does this career option stretch abilities I already have?
  • What experiences of mine might be transferable?
  • What new knowledge will I be able to obtain?
  • What alternative entry points exist for this career?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of this career option?
  • What reasons support choosing this career?
  • What parts of this career would I find most challenging?
  • How does this career promote competence?
  • What are the most rewarding and most stressful aspects of this career option?
  • Would choosing this career fit my values?
  • What parts of this career would I find most meaningful?
  • How does this career promote personal satisfaction?
Evaluating Career Options & Crafting a Career Plan Authors
Original work by: Elizabeth Hirsh Katherine Hirsh © Step Research Corporation

Building Relationships & Networking 06

Helping a student maximize their strengths in building relationships and networking

It is not uncommon for students (and legal professionals!) to resist networking. Unpacking Beth’s assumptions around networking can assist her in finding an approach that will feel less stressful more sure-footed. The following are common beliefs that may keep people like Beth from engaging in effective networking as well as suggestions on how Beth can address these misconceptions by adopting out a new mindset.

Troubleshooting Common Problem Behaviors and Shifting Perspectives

Limiting belief about networking that may be holding Beth back:
Networking means I have to make small talk and socialize with strangers and this feels awkward and I don’t really see the point of doing it.

Beth can address her limiting belief by taking a proactive approach. When taking part in a discussion, she can say:

  • "What brought you here today and what makes being at this event worth your time?"
  • "What’s most challenging about this subject, what do people struggle to master when looking into this topic?"
  • "What is the most surprising thing you have seen or heard so far today and what makes you curious to learn more?"

Beth can show interest this way even if she feels out of place making casual conversation. She can also use other peoples’ responses as a basis for her next comments or to spur conversation.

Another limiting belief Beth may hold:
Networking means that I can’t be myself.
  • Explain to Beth that people often feel that they need to act out of character to succeed in networking situations. Although it’s important to put one’s best foot forward, this can be achieved without trying to act like someone else. To help Beth resist the temptation to put up a false front when meeting new people, encourage Beth to develop an alternative mindset.
  • Tell Beth “Networking is a low stakes but high potential opportunity to form and/or strengthen helpful connections. You will be most successful when you practice being professional by:
    • Being yourself, realizing that this is the best way to find and match yourself to those who can use and appreciate your special characteristics.
    • Valuing others’ input while recognizing that no matter the result or ultimate benefit to you of any interaction, it’s always best to approach the process with courtesy and respect.
    • Politely excusing yourself if a conversation doesn’t seem fruitful by thanking others for their time before moving on to find another person to speak to – knowing that this is perfectly acceptable and that your courtesy is not only the right thing to do, but can result in your being remembered favorably, helping you in the future.
  • Along with practicing professionalism, support Beth’s efforts to adopt this new mindset by suggesting she adds her “special sauce” to the networking experience by:
    • Listening, keeping the conversation going by asking questions which call for more information and showing interest by giving others time to speak.
    • Making the most of the conversation by asking questions about general themes and sharing ideas and inspirations.
    • Analyzing the logic behind any data presented and striving for, as well as seeking, precision and clarity when sharing ideas or considering the ideas of others.
    • Helping others by being kind and supportive.

Bonus Tip:

A simple strategy that can help Beth be more confident in networking is for her to be ready to share some of her best qualities. Having prepared a quick, simple statement about what makes her special is a great help to both Beth and the person with whom she is trying to network. It adds clarity to the interaction and helps put people at greater ease.

Three adjectives likely to describe Beth well are:
Analytical, truth seeking and rational

Tell Beth that being able to identify and talk about her unique strengths is more meaningful and powerful than merely reciting from her resume or simply listing her skills. Encourage Beth to use these three words when asked to share something about herself, preparing examples from her own life to illustrate these characteristics.

Practice new skills: Homework/In-Session Activity

Because networking is so often misunderstood, it’s important to demystify it. These activities will help Beth become more skillful at, and less intimidated by networking – challenging her assumptions and showing her how to apply what she has learned. Networking, by its very nature, is about doing. The two activities provide a starting place for Beth to develop, and hopefully enjoy, this highly useful practice – giving her a means to tap into resources she might not have realized she has.

Activity 1: Networking Really Is About Who You Know

  1. Tell Beth that networking isn’t just about going to large gatherings and talking to strangers. Networking is happening anytime and anywhere people are connecting and learning more about each other. Brainstorm a list of her connections with Beth to help her see that she already has a network, one made up of people such as:
    • Relatives
    • Friends and acquaintances, including neighbors past and present
    • Teachers past and present
    • Coaches past and present
    • Fellow members of her/his faith community, club, sports team, hobby group, community organization, social media platforms, etc.
  2. Ask Beth to select three or four items from the list of questions below and then tell Beth to try them out the next time she meets with someone from the list of people just generated. Tell Beth to use this as a way to learn more about the people she knows and deepen her connections with them.
    • What helped them to stick with classes where they didn’t respect the teacher?
    • What helped them to stick with classes with a boring teacher?
    • What helped them to stick with classes with a disorganized teacher?
    • What helped them to stick with classes where they didn’t like the teacher?
    • How did they figure out how to convince people that they had a good idea?
    • How did they figure out how to convince others to take action?
    • How did they figure out how to stand up for what they believe in when others disagreed?
    • How did they figure out how to convince others that it is important to pay attention to how people feel about a plan?
    • What helped them to be more disciplined about...? <br>What helped them to be more relaxed about...?
  3. Use the results of this exercise to show Beth that she has many more resources than she might have thought and that there are always new things to learn from the people she already knows. Taking the opportunity to begin networking with people who already care about her can help Beth to feel more poised and positive about her relationship-building and networking skills.

Activity 2: An Appreciative Approach to Networking

  1. Tell Beth that a great way to increase her networking skills is to look at what is already going well for her and then make an effort to do more of those things that make her feel good and have led to successful results. This sort of appreciative, glass-half-full approach, with its focus on the positive, typically energizes people much more than looking at what’s wrong or not working.
  2. Ask Beth to complete the two stems below by selecting two or three items from the list of verbs, and two or three from the list of adjectives that describe her behavior when she felt really engaged in and excited about building relationships and/or networking.

    When I feel best about networking, I am...


    sharing general impressions
    sharing details and specifics
    searching for inconsistencies
    searching for points of agreement

    During networking it is very important for me to be…


  3. Have Beth choose one item from her list of verbs and one item from her list of adjectives and describe two ways she can practice these two approaches to building relationships and networking more often. Having a plan of action to develop the networking skills that Beth sees as vital should increase her confidence and make her networking more authentic and effective. This can be homework or you can work on it together in the session.
  4. Use the results of this exercise to show Beth that she has reasons to feel more poised and positive about her relationship building and networking skills.
  5. As a follow-up you may want to ask Beth about those areas that she finds difficult or less natural when networking. One way to facilitate this is to ask Beth about some of the verbs and adjectives that she did NOT choose in step 2. Often the things that are off-putting to us can help us learn about both our blind spots and our fears and serve as a means to figuring out how to manage them, as well as open us up to considering areas that seem like a stretch, but if given the opportunity, might be interesting and fun to try out.
Building Relationships & Networking Authors
Original work by: Elizabeth Hirsh Katherine Hirsh © Step Research Corporation