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#1 Beginning the Relationship

In this stage mentors and mentees are testing the waters with each other. Mentees may feel nervous or wary, and they may be putting on their best behavior for you. They may also get frustrated if things don’t go as they expected. You as a mentor may want to “fix” everything. You may find yourself adjusting your initial expectations about being a mentor, once you’ve experiences it for real. Both of you may be trying to bridge each other’s age, cultural and a lifestyle differences as well as finding things in common.

Strategies for this stage:
• Be consistent and reliable.
• Show you are willing to listen.
• Focus on doing things with rather that for your mentee.
• Be aware of your own feelings about age, cultural, and lifestyle differences.
• Be nonjudgmental.
• Reach out, be available.
• Be open and honest about what you can, can’t, or have to do.

Reprinted with permission from Search Institute®. From Mentoring for Meaningful Results: Asset-Building Tips, Tools, and Activities for Youth and Adults. Copyright © 2008 Search Institute, Minneapolis, MN; 800-888-7828;