This month, the Mentoring Minute is focusing on ways that you can build a strong mentoring relationship with your student. Recently, a major review of studies done on the effectiveness of adult and youth relationships in counseling and mentoring shared several tips for building strong relationships with students.

This week’s tip: avoid being overly formal.

Students are not necessarily looking for another parental voice in their life, or another teacher or counselor checking in on how they are doing. All of these roles are important in their life, but a mentor’s role is different…and less formal. Your role is to listen. Your role is to empathize. Your role is to encourage. Your role is to guide. As you continue to build a relationship with your student, be careful not to bring the level of formality that some of these other important relationships often require. But, focus instead on the role of being a trusted, caring friend.

Check back next Monday for another tip on how to build a strong mentoring relationship with your student.

-Jason Matthews, BTO Mentor Coach