Whether you're a first-time mentor or a seasoned Step Up participant, it's always good to refresh your mentorship skills. Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind as you prepare for your mentorship session.
- Show up for mentees as an advisor and confidante, not an all-knowing authority figure. One of the great things about mentorship is that both the mentor and mentee can learn a lot from each other. Come ready to listen, validate, and have constructive conversations.
- Show curiosity about your mentees' interests and experiences. Learning specifics about mentees helps you build rapport and develop robust relationships with them.
- Understand that the mentees you work with may have opinions and feelings that are different from your own. All of us bring a unique set of identities, perspectives, and experiences that shape the way we see the world. Recognize the validity of mentees' feelings and take a conscious and healthy interest in learning about how others see the world differently from you.
- Use active listening skills when you engage with mentees. Be present, show you are following along, and ask relevant questions about what mentees are saying.
- Ask open-ended questions (questions beginning with who, what, when, where, why, and how) instead of yes or no questions. This keeps the conversation flowing and encourages mentees to speak at length about their experiences and interests.
- Don't be afraid of silence. Sometimes, your mentee might need time to think through their idea or work up the courage to speak. Simply being there and waiting can open up a lot of conversations.
- Know that trust takes time. Many mentees will be meeting you for the first time, so don't be discouraged if a student is quiet or shy.
- Finally, know that your mentees care and appreciate the time you are putting into mentorship! Step Up high school girls and young adults are not required to attend any events, so all of them are choosing to be there and learn with you. Please be sure you can commit to attending the full duration of the mentorship session!
In addition, here are some helpful Zoom tips for our virtual programs!
We conduct all of our mentorship sessions on Zoom. Before joining, please allow yourself time to install the Zoom app onto your desktop computer or mobile device and test video and audio connectivity. New to Zoom? Learn more about installing Zoom here.
- Please turn your camera on if you are able to do so. Although all our events are virtual for now, we want to foster the same sense of togetherness that we do in our in-person events. Seeing each other's faces goes a long way towards making that happen!
- Use the chat box to share your thoughts and reactions throughout the session. In most of our sessions, participants are muted until we go into breakout rooms, but can share contributions in real time through the chat box!
- Share your LinkedIn handles in the chat box to continue connections beyond the event. This is especially helpful for our mentees under the age of 18, who cannot share personal emails or phone numbers.
Thank you again for investing your time and energy into the Step Up community and mentorship for womxn and girls! We look forward to seeing you soon.