Change the relationship.

Here are some straightforward things you can do to establish a stronger connection with your mentee:

  1. Have fun together. Ask your mentee to make a list with you of 10 things she would like to do when you get together. For your suggestions, focus on fun things the mentee might not otherwise be able to do—going to a sports event or museum, for example.
  2. Let your mentee make the final decision on what you will do together.
  3. Ask open-ended questions about your mentee’s interests, and incorporate these interests into your activities.
  4. Listen more than you talk.
  5. Be patient and persistent in the face of setbacks.
  6. Keep telling your mentee how much you care about her.
  7. Affirm your mentee’s good qualities and strengths.
  8. Take a look (or a second look) at resources that can help fine-tune your communications skills (such as visiting Mentoring Central).