FORUM: What’s the single best piece of advice for a new mentor you’ve ever heard?


Obviously, preparing brand new mentors for their role is one of the most important aspects of building great relationships and, ultimately, achieving program outcomes. Drs. Janis Kupersmidt and Jean Rhodes are in the process of evaluating their promising, new evidence-based training, which many programs have already praised for it’s clarity.  But other trainings are uneven and not evidence-based.  I’ve heard from many mentors over the years who felt their initial orientation and training was almost overstuffed with ideas, tips, strategies, and scenarios.

So let’s strip it down to its essence: What is the one thing you think a new mentor needs to know? What is the best piece of advice you would give a new mentor?

My idea: Don’t try and be a “fixer.” It’s not your role to solve the young person’s problems for them. Your role is to be a listener, a source of strength and ideas, and a conduit to other supports, so that the mentee can learn to solve their own issues and chart their own path.

So what do you think? Tell us what your one piece of critical advice would be in the comments below!

[image by Ryan Qiu]