active, empathetic listening a genuine understanding and acceptance
of the mentee's feelings.
To create a
psychological climate of trust which allows mentees to honestly
share and reflect upon their personal experiences (positive and
negative) as adult learners.
- Practice responsive
listening (verbal and nonverbal reactions that signal sincere interest).
- Ask open-ended
questions related to expressed immediate concerns about actual situations.
- Provide descriptive
feedback based on observations rather than inferences of motives.
- Use perception
checks to ensure comprehension of feelings.
- Offer nonjudgmental
sensitive responses to assist in clarification of emotional states
detailed information from and offers specific suggestions to mentees
about their current plans and progress in achieving personal, educational,
and career goals.
To ensure that
advice offered is based on accurate and sufficient knowledge of
- Ask questions
aimed at assuring factual understanding of present educational and
- Review relevant
background to develop adequate personal profile.
- Ask probing
questions which require concrete answers.
- Offer directive-type
comments about present problems and solutions that should be considered.
- Make restatements
to ensure factual accuracy and interpretive understanding.
- Rely on facts
as an integral component of the decision-making process.
through a reasonably in-depth review of and exploration of their
interests, abilities, ideas, and beliefs.
To assist mentees
in considering alternative views and options while reaching their
own decisions about attainable personal, academic, and career objectives.
- Pose hypothetical
questions to expand individual views.
- Uncover the
underlying experiential and information basis for assumptions.
- Present multiple
viewpoints to generate a more in-depth analysis of decisions and
- Examine the
seriousness of commitment to goals.
- Analyze reasons
for current pursuits.
- Review recreational
and vocational preferences.
challenges mentees' explanations for or avoidance of decisions and
actions relevant to their development as adult learners.
To help mentees
attain insight into unproductive strategies and behaviors and to
evaluate their need and capacity to change.
- Use careful
probing to assess psychological readiness of the mentee to benefit
from different points of views.
- Make an open
acknowledgment of concerns about possible negative consequences
of constructive ("critical") feedback on the relationship.
- Employ a confrontive
verbal stance aimed at the primary goal of promoting self-assessment
of apparent discrepancies.
- Focus on most
likely strategies and behaviors for meaningful change.
- Use the least
amount of carefully stated feedback necessary for impact.
- Offer comments
(before and after confrontive remarks) to reinforce belief in positive
potential for mentee growth beyond the current situation.
experiences and feelings as a "role model" with mentees
in order to personalize and enrich the relationship.
mentees to take necessary risks, to make decisions without certainty
of successful results, and to overcome difficulties in the journey
toward educational and career goals.
- Offer personal
thoughts and genuine feelings to emphasize the value of learning
from unsuccessful or difficult experiences (as trial and error and
self-correction, and not as growth-limiting "failures").
- Select related
examples from own life (and experiences as mentor of other mentees)
based on probable motivational value.
- Provide a
direct, realistic assessment of positive belief in mentee's ability
to pursue attainable goals.
- Express a
confident view of appropriate risk-taking as necessary for personal,
educational, training, and career development.
- Make statements
that clearly encourage personal mentee actions to attain stated
mentees critical thinking with regard to envisioning their own future
and developing their personal and professional potential.
mentees as they manage personal changes and take initiatives in
their transitions through life events as independent adult learners.
- Make statements
which require reflection on present and future educational, training,
and career attainments.
- Ask questions
aimed at clarifying perceptions (positive and negative) about personal
ability to manage change.
- Review individual
choices based on a reasonable assessment of options and resources.
- Make comments
directed at analysis of problem-solving and decision-making strategies.
- Express confidence
in carefully thought-out decisions.
- Offer remarks
that show respect for mentees' capacity to determine their own future.
mentees to develop talents and pursue dreams.
Adult Learners: A Guide for Educators and Trainers, Norman H. Cohen,1995