This blog post was written in conjunction with Marisa Angelillo, InterCHANGE People Development Associate.
Mentoring teenagers is great! We all know how successful the Mosaic mentoring programmes have been, and continue to be! One of the hardest things for a mentor to do is to keep the young people focused, particularly on the Enterprise Challenge Programme which can be quite intense in terms of content. Below are a few ideas on how to keep your groups focused.
Simple, but really effective:
- Get to know your mentees’ names. This is such a simple tip, but so effective. Use name labels if necessary, but getting to know your mentees individually shows that you respect and value them and they will respect and value you in return. Oh yes, and it is very useful to use someone’s name if you need to get their attention!
- Establish ground rules as early as possible. Get the young people to establish and agree them, and remind them every time what they have agreed to do!
- Set specific, SMART, objectives at the beginning of your session and review them regularly throughout. At the end, evaluate what you have achieved with the whole group and agree what needs to be done next time.
- Make sure all members of the team get a turn at controlling the mouse and inputting the information, and that it doesn’t always just fall to the natural leader in the group.
- When playing the online game, assign a role to each member of the team (e.g. MD, Finance Director etc.) and get them to take responsibility for the decision making for their area. Swap roles occasionally to keep them on their toes alert!
- If someone is doing something right, stop the session and bring everyone’s attention to it. Praise the person publicly and you may find others start repeating the desired behaviour!
- Do a fun ice-breaker in the middle of the session if the energy is dipping. Ice-breakers work and are not just for the beginning. Have you heard about making a tower out of copies of the Metro?
- Speed up the online game!
- If possible, get the young people to move around, so they are not sitting in the same spot throughout the whole session. Think of creative ways to get them working. Exercises using post-it notes, newspaper articles, games all help to accelerate their learning.
- Remind them it is a competition and encourage them to want to win. The prizes are awesome!
Do you have some tips to share? Would you like to know about the ice-breaker mentioned above? If so, let us know!
Mosaic is working in partnership with Karen Tidsall and her team from InterCHANGE People Development to deliver mentor training. Find out more at www.interchangepd.com, @interchangepd or call 01629 259 668.