Understand your communication style.
To communicate effectively with your mentee, it is critical to examine your style of communication. To get started, you can use the“Communication: A Self-Assessment Exercise” .
Understand how your mentee’s communication style fits together with yours.
In the beginning, mentors and mentees may both feel nervous about communicating and connecting with each other. Learning about your mentee’s communication style can help you understand whether you need to adjust yours to help your mentee feel comfortable opening up to you.
Because you and your mentee will probably both feel anxious about being able to connect with each other at the beginning of the relationship, it’s a good idea to talk about communication styles soon after you meet your mentee.
Here are some possible ways to start the conversation about communication styles:
- “I’m so looking forward to being your mentor—but I’m feeling nervous, too! How about you?”
- “How would you describe your communication style? For example, do you like to have other people share their feelings before you share yours?”
- “What kinds of things do you like to talk about?”