Two way Commuincation is Key

Mentoring is about sharing talents, knowledge, ideals, goals and friendship. Often times with youth mentoring there is a special need. The mentor and trainee should meet and set up some goals and objectives of the time they spend together. Often times when this is done correctly both parties learn and benefit more than they originally expected.

– Look for commonalities
When building a mentoring relationship it is good to find things that each of you enjoys or at least can agree on. Common ground is a nice familiar place to take a stand. Perhaps as a mentor you will help with some kind of chores or homework. After the task is completed it is nice to enjoy some time as equals. Go see a movie, play golf, or go out for ice cream. Do something that both of you enjoy.

– As a mentor you are expected to be an example
Often times this gives someone a change to put their best foot forward and make some personal changes. You mind find dressing a little more formally, speaking in more professional manner and setting setting and tracking personal goals. These are things that you are probably encourage your trainee to do. It seems best to set a good example and work through the struggles together.

– It is a great time to benefit by keeping a  journal
Journaling is an excellent way to keep track of goals, challenges, emotions, obstacles and nonsense. Yes, it says nonsense. Many of the things that seem so important one day are complete nonsense the next week. Journaling helps to bring those things into perspective. A journal can be used to mark highlights, keep focus, record valuable information and lessons. There are times when things should just be put on paper.

– Make sure that the relationship is developed on equal respect
In truth we all learn from each other and both the mentor and trainee have to understand and be prepared to learn from each other. If the mentor feels and acts superior this is not the best situation. The mentor must recognize there is information to be gained. The trainee must be able to question, learn, and share thoughts and ideas as well.

– Confidentiality
It is key in this partnership that confidences are kept. You will both be discussing your shortcomings, past mistakes and the lessons you have learned. These are not to be discussed outside of the relationship, with anyone.

Most of the time true mentoring turns into a symbiotic relationship where everyone benefits.