Mentoring Young Adults and Students
There are few better ways to learn than by being under the tutelage of someone wiser. In turn, Monty Cerf explains that serving as a mentor to a young adult or student can be an equally beneficial role.
For the mentor, the responsibility and determination that go into mentoring someone younger or less experienced can be straining, and it doesn’t come without its own set of difficulties, but the benefits that come out of the experience make it more than worth the process.
This is especially true if a mentor is skilled in knowing how to be an effective teacher, as that can make the biggest difference in the success of their pupil’s future.
The Mentoring Effect
At its root, acting as a mentor shows youth that they are cared for, listened to, and important to at least one person. That in and of itself could make a world of difference, so much so that there’s been ample research put into finding out how great of a difference it can be.
The numbers are staggering. Research shows that, if a young adult has an adult mentor, they are:
- 55% less likely to purposefully ditch a day of school
- 78% more likely to volunteer in their local communities
- 90% more likely to serve as a mentor in their future
and most impressive, they’ll be 130% more likely to steadily hold a position of leadership in the future. It’s a powerful change, and one that more adults need to think of themselves as capable of kickstarting.
How To Mentor Effectively
Making the most out of a mentorship position can be as simple as utilizing this set of skills:
- Narrowing Down a Niche that they know they can effectively teach. Outside of academic subjects, this can mean social skills, being a leader, and the like. Choosing something that one is confident they can guide someone else through is vital to the success of both mentor and student.
- Being A Communicator and listener. Many students may not be in the mindset to speak of their troubles, and it’s up to the mentor to help them out of their shells. In the same breath, being an effective listener builds trust in the relationships and allows the student to feel heard.
- Being An Effective Critic is vital to the student. A mentor/student relationship is unlikely to be perfect and without a few bumps in the road. The mentor must be able to correct these missteps with grace, and without tarnishing the foundation of trust that’s being cultivated.
- Being Empathetic is a skill that needs to be prioritized. Many mentors may be paired with a student who comes from a starkly different background than their own, and it’s here where empathy is most important. Then, and only then, will the mentor be able to truly guide a student on a more successful path.
Being Available should be more heavily remembered. Should a student need a familiar face in the crowd at their school play, or someone to give them advice during an unprecedented time- a mentor should put in a good-faith effort to show up when they can.