How to Become a Positive Mentor!
Here are a few easy and simple ways that you can become a strong mentor for the future brothers of your entity and fraternity.
Listen up brothers!
As we continue to grow and develop as gentlemen of fraternal value, there will be a time during or after your college career where someone will look to you and ask these five simple, yet anxious words, “Can you be my mentor?”
Being asked this question can be surprising to some, but let’s face it, we all want to have the opportunity to support other people even though we might not be ready for it. When I began working as Graduate Assistant in Residential Life and later in Greek Affairs, there were situations where I thought, “Why are they asking me? I can’t even get my own stuff together”. What I realize is that these people took a genuine interest in what I was doing and looked to “pick my brain” so that they could possibly have a direction in their own careers later on in life.
A mentorship can be a very rewarding experience for both people who are involved, especially when it’s at the fraternity level. Typically when I write these developmental pieces, I tend to speak to our undergraduate members; this message is a little bit different because I want to help engage older Brothers by becoming more invested in the development of fraternity. With that said…
HERE ARE A FEW THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN BECOMING A POSITIVE MENTOR
1.) Be someone who can “Capitalize” on your own experiences: One thing that I have noticed both as a mentor and a mentee is that you need to be able to share your own trials and tribulations with that person. This will help them evaluate their current situations based on what you experienced in the past.
2.) Always demonstrate a “Positive” attitude: When working with younger Brothers in the fraternity, it’s important to exhibit a positive outlook on life, even if things may not be going too well. You want to ensure them that things will get better over time,and that pursuing a goal can keep each other motivated.
3.) Being a “Supportive” role model can go a long way: Again, a mentee is always looking for guidance and direction. If they are working on personal endeavors, take interest in those and help them along the way.
4.) Have that personal investment in the mentoring relationship: What I’ve learned over the years is that you never want to take the mentor role lightly. This relationship is something that can become deeper if you emotionally invest in the development of that Brother or student, whether it’s personal or professional.
5.) Provide that Constructive Feedback: As a mentor, you want to be able to give advice or recommendations on how to improve or become better in certain areas. A good example of this might be working on a resume format that best fits the job that the mentee is applying to.
6.) Build a strong “Networking Pool”: One thing that I found to be extremely helpful was that my mentors always had people to refer me to. Take the time to share those networks with your mentees because it goes a really long way.
7.) Be Critical and show “Tough Love”: This might not work for every mentor/mentee relationship you encounter, but sometime you may need to be critical with a mentee because they may not be focused on their goals or lost their sense of direction.
8.) Making time to be Available: We all understand that life can get really busy, always try to take some time to reach out to the mentee either through email, a phone call, or a bite to eat.
9.) Set some “Personal or Professional” Goals: Try to implement some type of plan for the Brother or mentee you are working with so that they are able to stay on track and focused on their goals.
10.) FOR THE MENTEE……Choose a Mentor that is RIGHT for you: When picking a mentor to work with, you want to make sure that he/she has the same goals in mind when it comes to professional development. One thing that I’ve learned as well is that you can never have too many mentors. Sometimes you just need a group of people who will be able to support and assist you as you get older.