Teens are at a potentially precarious phase of life where they are subject to a variety of influences. Some influences are positive, while others are definitively negative. Many of these are sourced with particular people who will seek to assert their influence on the impressionable teen. Teens who choose to participate in mentor programs are provided with someone who can potentially be a positive role model that helps them navigate the challenges of teen life. In addition, they can learn developmental abilities in a mentor situation that can help their job prospects later in life. Here are a few ways that teens can develop management skills in mentor programs.
WORKING WITH PEOPLE
Management skills are about working with people. In a mentoring situation the teen has the opportunity to work directly with a mentor, converse with them, and build a relationship. Depending on the activities that are part of the program, the teen may have opportunities to see the mentor work with other people as well through conversation and problem solving. For example, if a mentor takes a teen to a job setting, the teen may have the opportunity to see the mentor supervise or negotiate with other professionals. This can be a great situation for the teen to observe certain behavioral patterns and learn how to handle situations in their own life.
These mentor interactions are key because the teen is often going to learn best by watching the example of other people who perform well. It is one thing to tell someone how to manage others but it can be much more effective when it is modeled effectively in a real life situation. A mentor can provide an example for a teen that stays in their memory for many years. When the teen is grown up, they will think back to their prior experiences and remember the people that modeled strong management behavior for them. Sometimes a mentor can be more effective than parents in certain phases of life. This is because some teens go through a stage where they are a bit tired of listening to their parents, which makes them more prone to be influenced by a different authority figure.
While there have been many management books written, it is difficult to learn management skills from print. The best managers are those who have innate skill, organizational awareness, high emotional intelligence, and good mentors. A teen that participates in a mentoring program may be provided with a person who can model leadership behavior that will serve them later in life. A mentor may demonstrate communication, visionary thinking, and attention to details. This can be a tremendous educational opportunity for the impressionable teen.