Sometimes the idea of mentoring relationship can be intimidating, whether you are the mentor or the mentee. To help break the ice and ease into this relationship, we wanted to share some helpful tips for how to talk to a mentee, courtesy of the Center for Mentoring Excellence:
Just as you would with any other relationship, begin the conversation by warming up and building trust. Ideally, you will want to make yourself familiar with your mentee’s background before the initial meeting, as this will help the two of you to find commonalities. Taking the time to first warm up the conversation will make the whole concept of a mentor/mentee relationship less rigid.
After the two of you have connected on common interests, here are some helpful questions that will help aid you on how to talk to a mentee to be most effective in your role:
- What are you passionate about?
- What values do you live your life by?
- What are some life experiences that have made the biggest impact on you?
- What would you say your strongest quality is?
- What are some unique skills and capabilities that set you apart from everyone else?
Most importantly, you need to actively listen to your mentee’s responses to these questions. Your eye contact and body language will communicate that you truly care about helping your mentee achieve his or her goals. Make a mental note of feelings of confusion or frustration from your mentee, and do not interrupt him or her unless it is completely necessary.