Youth Ideas - 10 Characteristics of Successful Mentors by sappken


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                  Youth Ideas - 10
                  Characteristics of
                 Successful Mentors
            According to a study of Big Brothers, Big
             Sisters in the USA, one of the largest
             mentoring organizations in the world


     1. Be a friend
     • Don’t act like a parent
     • Don’t try to be an authority
     • Don’t preach about values

    2. Have realistic goals and
    • Focus on overall development,
       not performance and change
    • Center initial goals on the
       relationship itself
    • Emphasize friendship over

    3. Have fun together
    • Youth spell love – TIME
    • Informal activities lay the
       foundation for formal ones
    • Shared activities become great
       discussion starters

    4. Give your protégé voice and
       choice in deciding activities
    • Help them to explore possibilities
       and then make their choices
    • Listen more than you talk
    • Question more than you Preach

    5.   Be positive
    •    Praise and encouragement build
    •    Be supportive rather than critical
         – focus on solutions rather than

    6. Let the protégé have much of
       the control over what the two of
       you talk about
    • Don’t push, be patient
    • Be sensitive and responsive to
    • Let them know that can confide
       in you without you becoming

     7. Listen
     • Let youth vent without
        criticizing them
     • When you listen they see you
        as a friend, not an authority

   8.   Respect the trust your protégé
        places in you
   •    Respond in ways that show you
        understand. This is not the same
        as agree
   •    Reassure the protégé that you
        are there for them
   •    Advice should not be dispensed
        but mutually discovered
   •    If you have to convey concern or
        displeasure, do it with caring and
   •    Sound like a friend not a parent…
        youth easily discern the

     9. Remember your relationship is
        with the youth and not the
        youth’s parent
     • Maintain cordial contact, but you
        are not there to be a spy for
        parents. You are there to be a
        champion for the youth
     • Keep your focus on the youth
     • You are not there to bring about
        the parents wishes, but to help
        the youth discover their potential
     • Be non-judgmental about the

    10.You are responsible for building
       the relationship
    • Take responsibility for making
       and maintaining contact
    • Don’t expect adult to adult


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