Before deciding to become someone’s mentor, consider these questions if you have been asked to do so or would like to offer to do so:

  • What Knowledge and experiences can I bring to the mentoring relationship?
  • Are you willing to take the time to get to know your mentee, help in learning new things that are important to the young person?
  • Do you have a sincere desire to be involved and support a young person?
  • What types of activities interest me? Do I want to help a youth learn a specific skill, pursue an interest, help with schoolwork, or just be a caring adult friend?

You will most likely recognise the skills listed here and have used them successfully in other relationships. Try to use these skills whenever possible as you progress through the mentoring relationship.

1. Listening Actively

Reflect back key points of what they’ve said to demonstrate that you understand what they’ve said and that you’re interested in what they’re saying. Make sure your body language conveys that you are listening to what the other person is saying, such as by maintaining eye contact.

2. Building Trust

Trust develops gradually. By keeping your chats and other communications with your mentee private, keeping your appointments for meetings and calls, continually demonstrating interest in and support for them, and being honest with them, you may build their trust.

3. Determining Goals and Building Capacity

As a role model, you should have your own career and personal goals, which you should share with your mentee when appropriate. He or she will also most likely ask you how you set and achieved your own goals. You can also assist your mentee in identifying and achieving his or her career and personal goals.

You will strengthen your mentee learning and goal-achieving abilities by doing the following:

  • Assisting him or her in locating resources such as people, books, articles, tools, and web-based information;
  • Imparting knowledge and skills by explaining, giving useful examples, demonstrating processes, and asking thought-provoking questions
  • Assisting him or her in gaining broader perspectives of his or her responsibilities and organisation
  • Discussing and explaining actions you’ve taken in your career.

4. Encouraging and Inspiring

  • Comment favourably on his or her accomplishments;
  • Communicate your belief in his or her capacity to grow personally and professionally and reach his or her goals; and
  • Respond to his or her frustrations and challenges with words of support, understanding, encouragement and praise. (Just
  • knowing that someone else has been there can be tremendously helpful.)

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