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Building Rapport With Your Mentees
Transcript of Building Rapport With Your Mentees
By: Austin Taylor
Builing rapport with a mentee starts off at the first meeting, and progresses further on throughout your time with them. Being compassionate and open with your mentee is the ultimate way to communicating better and trusting one another
The First Meeting
The ice-breaker introductions
Be open with your mentee and show you want to help
Find some common ground
Tell a story about yourself
Understand that this is a new thing for the mentee
Mimicry is subtle, but effective
Begin by telling your mentee about yourself. Give them some general information about you, this can include:
Where you are from?
What you plan on majoring?
Why you chose ECU?
What activities/hobbies do you enjoy?
What kind of music do you listen to?
Let your mentee do the same kind of introduction, but pay attention to the similarities you two may share. This will help build rapport via common interests.
From the Get Go...
Building rapport with a mentee begins with the very first meeting.
After establishing the introduction, let your mentee know right off the bat that you are going to be helping/supporting them through their time this semester. Do not sugarcoat it or lie to them; tell them that it is not going to be easy, that they will deal with a lot of issues and uncontrollables, but that you will be there to help them manage those issues. Exchange phone numbers if you feel comfortable, this will get you and your mentee on a more personal level.
When listening to your mentee give their general introductions, listen for things that you may have in common with them. Bring these commonalities up with your mentee to spark interesting conversations and lighten the mood a little bit. It will make them feel more comfortable around you and it will give you the opportunity to learn more about them.
Telling A Story
Try and tell your mentee a story about a personal experience that relates to something that they may also experience later on in their life. This could be something about academics, greek life, or extracurricular activities. If the story is fun and interesting, it will get your mentee's attention and allow them to learn more about you. This can not only help the mentee if they get caught up in a similar situation, but it will help you to build a connection with them.
A New Relationship
This is a new relationship between the mentee and mentor. It will take time for the trust and communication to come. Just being patient and being an active listener can speed the rapport building process quickly. Getting the mentee to talk about themselves (ie. classes, social life, etc.) will help them to feel comfortable around you.
Mimicry is Key
The best and first thing that you can do to show your mentor that you are caring and supportive is to smile. Smiling is proven to be an effective way to show other people that you are approachable and friendly.
The next thing you as a mentor should do is maintain eye contact constantly with your mentee, as this will show them that you are giving them your full, undivided attention. This will ensure the feeling that you are there to help them.
Copying body language is another way to show someone that you are giving your attention to them. It will also draw them into what you are saying more.
Building/Maintaining Rapport After First Meeting
Keep up the good work!
Be available and flexible with your mentee
Keep Up The Good Work
When your mentee comes to you with good news about test grades, getting into a special program, or even just having a good day, let them know how good they have done. Be positive, smile, talk about it more, and tell them to keep up the good work. You will build rapport when you talk to your mentees about topics that make them happy or excited.
Sending text messages to your mentess may do more than you think! Mentees may be having a bad day, and they may not have a meeting with you for another week, but if you text them/email them how their day is going or good luck on that chemistry exam, it could turn their day around for the better. A two week window between sessions may be too long for some mentees.
Always Be Available
Your mentee will no doubt need help throughout your time with them. Be available and flexible with them. If they text you the night before asking for a reschedule appointment, tell them that it is fine and do the reschedule. It will show that you are willing to work with them through anything. If your mentee asks for your help on something, go ahead and do as much as you can.