How to be a great mentor

We all remember being young and starting our first job like it was yesterday. But the truth is, it is really hard to get into the mind of a young person (or anyone for that matter) to really understand how they are thinking, especially when one generation of young people are so different from the next.

Often, the trick is to guide a worker to see things from a different perspective rather than simply tell them what needs to be done. A young worker needs to see why something needs to be done a certain way so they can understand it from their own perspective. It usually helps to work through a particular issue in detail, to really clear why there is a need for a change.

What do you do, for example, if your apprentice is between five and 10 minutes late for work every morning? The apprentice may believe that, because their train arrives at that time each morning, it simply cannot be helped. Perhaps the young worker is unable to understand why it is such a big deal, they simply can’t understand it from their employer’s point of view. This is where the following steps may help to bring about a change in this young worker’s point of view:

  1. Identify the issue
  2. Explain the effect of the issue
  3. Acknowledge the young person’s point of view
  4. Discuss possible solutions
  5. State what you want to happen next
  6. Ask the young worker what they think

1300apprentice are always available to offer mentoring guidance and support. The most recent mentorship training our Field Officers received was conducted by The Medical Register of Australia – Youth and Adolescent Development.

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