Tips For Choosing the Right Mentor
It's important to have a mentor in your life, but before you choose a mentor, you need to know how to choose the right one. Girl Talk has seen first hand the positive effects a mentor can have on the lives of young girls, as well as the changes a mentoring program can have on the lives of the mentors themselves, so we want to provide a simple list of guidelines to help you choose the perfect person to get your advice from.
Tip #1: Where There's a Will, There's a Way
Your mentor should have the desire to be a mentor. If you choose someone who has never considered being a mentor before, then you may want to reconsider. You mentor needs to understand the effort that goes in to being a mentor to someone, and want to make that effort. If your mentor truly wants the best for you, and shares what you need from them, then your mentor will never let you down. In order for that to happen, your mentor has to have the will to be a great mentor.
Tip #2: Girls Need Girls, and Boys Need Boys
If you're a female, then your mentor should also be a female. If you're a male, then your mentor should be a male, too. The simple reason why is because girls and boys communicate differently. A girl may think something is very important, such as figuring out the right clothes to wear to school, whereas most boys never think twice about picking out the perfect outfit for school. A boy may want advice on a bully at school, and a girl mentor simply couldn't give the same advice as a boy could.
Beyond the different things that girls and boys worry about, there's also an aspect of trust in choosing a mentor that is the same gender as you. A girl can confide easier in a woman, and trust her advice, because she knows her mentor went through the same struggles when she was a younger girl. It's the same for boys and men.
Tip #3: Age Counts
Age is an important factor when choosing the right mentor. Middle school and high school years are the perfect time to seek out a mentor to help you through the struggles that often come with school and other things we experience in our teenage years. These years are full of important choices to make, and the outcome of these choices have big consequences. That's why we recommend getting a mentor while in your teenage years, and even into your college years. The wisdom of a mentor will make a huge difference in your experience with making hard choices and growing into all the potential you have.
Tip #4: Patience
Patience is a great quality for anyone to have, especially for someone who does a lot of listening, like a mentor. You want your mentor to be able to focus on everything you want to explain to them, and listen to the questions you have. Being a mentor can be frustrating at times, and it's important that a mentor is patient with you while you figure out your life.
Tip #5: No Friends Allowed
A mentor should be someone who can tell you what you need to hear, not just what you want to hear. Sometimes a friend can be afraid to hurt your feelings, and will hold back what they really think in order to not make their friend feel bad. Your mentor needs to be someone who can be completely honest with you, even when the truth hurts. We recommend avoiding choosing a mentor as someone super close to you, such as a sister or your best friend, and instead choosing a person that may be an acquaintance of yours, or a friend of a friend.
So when you choose a mentor, make sure that he or she is actually willing to mentor you, and has a genuine desire to do so. Choose someone who is the same gender as you. Lastly, your mentor should be a patient person, and someone who will always be truthful with you.
Do you have an example of a perfect mentor in your life?
Are you a mentor who has tips for providing great advice?
Please share with us!