Why is mentoring so important to the success of an MSL?

Mentoring is critical to success, not only because of the expertise and soft skills MSLs can acquire from mentors, but also because mentors can provide access to professional networks and personal support to facilitate success and mitigate less successful efforts. Excellent mentoring greatly enhances MSLs chances for job satisfaction and success for the mentor and the mentee. Research shows that great mentoring is the single, most important reason people thrive in a career, more than hard work, talent, and intelligence.

How does MSL mentoring improve the performance of new MSLs?

Confidence is increased by empowering MSLs to work more efficiently, encouraging them to negotiate when necessary, helping them set boundaries, and letting them know that despite the perception that perfection is success, increasing skill sets and building knowledge is a journey.

How has MSL mentoring evolved since you began your MSL career?

Initially, mentors were mainly assigned to a new MSL for the purpose of transfer of technical knowledge. However, as the MSLs grew in numbers in the industry, peer mentors began to support mentees in relation to how to do MSL job more effectively. It is the delicate balance of the art of doing this job which is precarious without experienced mentors. This is not something one can grasp from reading an article. The MSL community is getting larger now so mentoring has been integrated into MSL programs across companies and is crucial for the success of any level of MSL.

Please share how MSL teams can setup formal mentoring programs.

Establishing formal mentoring programs on MSL teams starts with leadership vision and support. Successful mentoring programs incorporate these key aspects: clear delineation of program goals and expectations for mentors and mentees, careful selection and pairing of mentors and mentees, holding both mentor and mentee accountable for the relationship’s success, recognition for mentors who make a difference and a timeline with a beginning and end of the formal mentoring relationship. How do you gauge success? By organizational follow-up; outcome survey data that lead to developing and implementing best practices.

Tell us about the MSL mentoring program with the MSL Society?

The MSL Mentor/Mentee program is a unique program across the Pharma industry offered through the MSL Society. Since the program is both group and one-on-one session mixed, it allows the mentees to not only build a vertical relationship between a mentor and a mentee but also allows the mentees to build a lateral network with their peers. The gem of this is that it reinforces, we are in it all together to ultimately benefit our patients. More information is available at the link below.

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