The best way to motivate your mentee is to think about things from their perspective. Once you understand where they are coming from you will understand what motivates them.
Nearly 80 years after its publication, Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People remains one of the best-selling books of all time (30 million copies!). Can it help the millions of mentors working with today’s youth? The answer is an emphatic yes. The book is a treasure trove of common sense tips and wisdom for mentors, parents, staff, and basically all of us–e.g., be a good listener, show genuine interest, quickly admit faults, convey appreciation. Although the need for evidence-based training remains, the principles in this book are a valuable supplement. These have been adapted from blogs on the book, e.g., Carnegie, Sameffect.com and applied its principles to youth mentoring.[faq category=29 template=accordion]
Our deepest desire is to be appreciated so show genuine appreciation–not through flattery but through praise of specific behaviors and attributes.
Criticism, no matter how well intentioned, will undermine your mentee’s sense of self-worth and put him or her on the defense. Instead of judging, try to understand the motives behind your mentee’s actions.