The key skills statement throws more light on the three main meetings which I had with my mentor and seeks to bring out personal learning arising from interactions and discussion with my mentor.
Preparing for meetings
First of the meeting I had with my mentor was mainly to seek advice on the proposal for my study. This I did after all the necessary work, such as the choice of the topic, what I intended to achieve and data collection methods to be used. The proposal was in the following order:
• Discussion of the project topic
• The aims and objective of the research
• The research methodology to be adopted
The first meeting with my mentor gave me an insight and broader understanding into the chosen topic, the objectives and the methodology to be adopted.
After the first meeting with my mentor, I learnt a lot on gathering of data for the research which included questionnaires, interviews, the internet and visits to the library. The initial view as to the findings of the research work was then discussed with my mentor in the second meeting.
The meeting was structured in the following order:
• Discussion of research methods adopted,
• Discussion of initial findings ,
• And finally the presenting of findings.
The last meeting with my mentor was planned in such a way that we could discuss all areas of the project. During the last meeting I had the opportunity to discuss and present my findings which I did with the use of Microsoft Word and Excel, but the findings were finally presented with the use of Microsoft power point. The presentation was in the following order:
• Review of my research objectives.
• Research questions to be answered
• Literature review
• Data collection methods
• Findings, conclusion and recommendations.
Learning’s from meeting with mentor
Planning and organising
Meetings with my mentor waswell planned and structured in such a way that the three meetings would be successful. Listening and question asking also went a long way in giving me the clarification on the requirement of the project and my chosen topic area. we planned in such a way that we had timelines for all the sections of the meeting and this went a long way into making me deliver on time and also achieve the objectives set for the project.
Questioning was one of the things I learned from the meeting with my mentor. Questioning involves asking for additional information so as to clarify ideas or understand the speaker’s response. It is an invaluable tool for increasing understanding. It also served as a type of feedback to my mentor. The kind of question asked influenced quality of responses from the respondent. Questions were open, closed, direct and leading. This helped me at certain stage of the research interview. I can now freely engage and participate fully in discussions.
Another key learning from the meeting with my mentor was “my ability to listen”. Listening is an art, by which information is received, digested and value added to it. During each meeting, I spent a lot of time listening. I did this to enable us to actively communicate and participate fully in the discussion.
Active listening is a technique of listening, which is applied through a straightforward process of re-stating what you thought the speaker has said. This helped me to retain and recall each word and phrases when am reflecting on my discussions with my mentor.
The use of simple words and phrases aids understanding and encourages listening. There is always the need to avoid the use of words that are ambiguous and vocabularies as these are likely to distort the free flow of communication hence distorting the level of listening.
My presentation was done according to plan and was done using Microsoft power point.