A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE MENTORING
WHAT MAKES A GOOD MENTOR?
A good mentor sets goals with their mentee for the year:
One of the things we look for in all our FUSE participants is growth. Setting goals and working to achieve them is an excellent way to see that growth.
A good mentor lends an ear:
The ability to really listen to your mentee will allow you to have a better relationship. If a mentee feels they are being heard they are more likely to trust you.
A good mentor provides appropriate feedback:
Feedback is a useful tool for anyone. It allows us to see where we can improve so that we can achieve our goals quicker.
A good mentor suspends judgement:
There may come a time where you really disagree with the actions of your mentee. Instead of berating them, suspend your judgement and have a conversation with them. You will both be better for it.
A good mentor acknowledges emotion:
College can be an overwhelming experience. If your mentee is having a hard time, acknowledge their emotion instead of ignoring it as that could lead to resentment. If it's within your ability and comfort level to, help them.
A good mentor challenges their mentee:
We're not saying push them to their breaking point, but challenging your mentee somewhat can keep things interesting and teach them that not every goal they set comes easy.
A good mentor provides encouragement:
Everyone likes to feel appreciated. If you see your mentee working hard and trying to make progress, provide them with encouragement so that they feel good about what they are doing.
WHAT MAKES A BAD MENTOR?
A bad mentor plays therapist for their mentee:
While we encourage you to help your mentor, we discourage you dealing with issues out of your league. It is your job as their mentor to guide them to the appropriate resources needed to get help. If that makes you uncomfortable, FUSE faculty or a student executive will do that for you.
A bad mentor is impatient with and rude to their mentee:
Be patient with and kind to your mentee. It is their first time in a brand new place without the security of home and they are learning.
A bad mentor only communicates with their mentee at monthly meetings:
You can't grow your relationship if you only talk once a month. If you see your mentee in the halls, stop and talk or give them a text from time to time. See the FUSE Manual for talking points. Your mentee will feel more comfortable around you if they feel like they know you, so give them the chance to!
A bad mentor parents their mentee:
Don't just come right out and tell your mentee what to do. Make suggestions and give them some of the control in the relationship so they don't end up resenting you for trying to control them.
A bad mentor is unreliable:
If your mentee asks you for something and you agree to it, you have to follow through. Don't blow your mentee off; it doesn't help either of you. Being reliable also means setting a good example. If you show up late to meetings and aren't organized, your mentee could begin to show the same behaviour.
A bad mentor solves the problem for the mentee:
Say your mentee is having trouble in a particular class and they come to you for help. Don't just solve their problem by providing the answer. If you just tell them, they won't learn anything. Instead, guide them in the right direction so that they can come to the conclusion themself.