As part of our technical grant from Mentor NY, we hosted a mentor training session on Saturday, October 29th, for 45 new and current mentors.
We learned about the basics of what makes an effective mentor: good listening; compassion; patience; consistency; resourcefulness; honesty and a sense of humor.
Some of our experienced mentors and the training facilitator, Jean Lahage Cohen, shared tips on how to build an strong mentoring relationship:
- Start slowly--the first meeting can be as short as 15 minutes;
- Be consistent--over time, the student will realize they can (and want to) reach out to the mentor;
- Have manageable expectations--it may take time to build trust with a student;
- Be a good listener: only ask the questions you need to ask;
- Never ask a question of a mentee that you wouldn't want to answer yourself;
- Realize that as a mentor you don't need to know all the answers about anything (colleges, career, family problems)--you are a resource to the student to help them find the answers;
- Don't be afraid to ask for help. Contact the Sponsor-A-Scholar staff.
Plans are already underway for a follow up session as we continue to support both our Scholars and our mentors in their work.