With National Mentoring Month well under way, we wanted to take a moment to highlight what it takes to be an effective and successful mentor!
Becoming a youth mentor is a proven way to have a positive impact on their lives, with young mentees experiencing lower dropout rates, improved interpersonal skills, decreased likelihood of drug abuse, and enhanced self esteem and self confidence. [Youth.gov], but what’s involved in being a great mentor?
Qualities of a Good Mentor
Acting as a mentor to a young person involves more than just spending time with them once in a while. Successful mentoring also requires a significant and thoughtful emotional commitment. According to The Balance, the top 5 traits of a great mentor are:
How to Utilize these Qualities
How can a mentor put those valuable qualities into practice? Business News Daily explains with their How to Be a Good Mentor list:
2. Practice Empathy
According to Brene Brown, “empathy has no script. There is no right way or wrong wayto do it. It’s simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of ‘You’re not alone.’”
Empathy helps build connection in relationships, and feeling connected to trusted adults
Is necessary for a young person’s optimal well being, helping them feel valued, loved,
And cared for.
3. Let Your Mentee Make Decisions
Allowing young people to make their own decisions, with guidance as needed to ensure their safety, goes a long way in helping them build confidence in themselves and their ability to navigate their own lives. This sense of confidence will then go on and help them make healthy, thoughtful choices throughout their lives.
4. Work on Becoming a Positive Role Model
While perfection is of course impossible and not a requirement to being a successful youth mentor, mentors who are open and honest about their own personal growth and development with their mentees teach them that life is always a work in progress and that mistakes are a natural part of growth.
This is a fantastic month to get involved in a youth mentoring relationship and there are so many wonderful young people waiting for their very own Big mentor, through both our community and our school based match programs.
Interested in helping to improve the life of one of them? Give us a call at 734-975-0933 or sign up for a volunteer info session today!