If you haven’t heard of the Be the Mentor programme, then you’re in the right place. It is a mentorship programme created by South African Breweries encouraging those who can, to be mentors to youngsters who have been subjected to alcohol before the age of 18. That’s one in every two teenagers in South Africa according to aware.org.za
Be the Mentor provides a platform for young people to speak up and raise awareness against underage drinking. It also helps equip mentors with the right tools to mentor adequately. But one thing that has become prevalent amongst the mentor-mentee relationships is that the mentee might not be making themselves ‘mentorable’.
This blog is going to cover how to encourage your mentee to be more receptive to mentoring. After all, you want your mentee to gain the most from the mentor relationship.
THE KEY TO MENTORABILITY IS AN OPEN AND RECIPROCAL PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN MENTOR AND MENTEE.
According to mentor researcher, Victoria Black, mentoring is like being in a long car ride together, “The mentee is the driver, and the mentor is the co-pilot, helping them get to their destination.” Ultimately, the mentee is in control of where the car goes, how fast it goes and how they reach the destination and the mentor is responsible for guiding the mentee through all of that with feedback about their needs.
For mentees to truly benefit from their mentor, they have to ask a vital question, “Am I a good mentee?”. Here are some tips on how to help your mentee, for lack of a better expression, be a better mentee.
Time changes everything, but time itself never changes. It will always remain an important commodity – for both the mentee and mentor. So, each moment spent between mentor and mentee should be used for some purpose. An easy way to figure this is to specify what is the end goal from having this relationship. A mentor is someone you should be able to show vulnerability with – exposing your problems and limitations. But also, someone that should be real with you and not make things out to be what they aren’t or never will be.
Speaking of valuing time, have a common respect for one another. Don’t be late, don’t cancel at the last minute unless, completely necessary and give each other 100% of your attention.
BE OPEN TO FEEDBACK
Being open to a mentor means accepting that help and guidance is needed. So, allow for that. One may not like what they hear all the time but trust that it is coming from a place of help and experience. The onus is on the mentee to take the suggestion and apply it to their life or give feedback to their mentor as the advice might not suit them personally. As a Victoria Black says,“With the best intentions, mentors might give you advice that works for them, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to work for you. Finding the best way for the mentee to thrive on their own and helping them make their own decisions is what good mentoring partnerships are about.”
ARE YOU A GOOD MENTEE?
Constantly reminding yourself on the purpose of your relationship with your mentor/mentee encourages you to track progress and stay the path and learn from each piece of information passed on.
If you believe you can make a difference (even if it’s the smallest difference) to a younger life that may be affected by underage drinking, pledge to be a mentor now by clicking here.