Once mentors learn about the complexities of their role, they often wish they were better prepared. A new online course by Education Northwest does just that, through 13 video scenarios that depict common mentoring challenges and how to handle them. The vignettes in Talking it Through: Communication Skills for Mentors are based on the experiences of actual mentoring pairs and feature real youth and real mentors.
"For years, mentoring programs have been asking us for video-based training that addresses those awkward, real-life situations that arise between mentors and mentees, so we're thrilled to make this new resource available to the field," says Nicky Martin, director of Education Northwest’s National Mentoring Center. "And in this economy, when many programs are struggling, we are especially happy to offer it at no cost. We hope it can be a useful supplement to any well-rounded mentor training plan."
The videos, which run 3–7 minutes each, demonstrate how to respond to difficult situations and communicate effectively on the spot. Project Coordinator Amy Cannata points out, "The segments offer guidance on developing key skills such as knowing how to be empathetic and attentive, when to set boundaries, and when to contact program staff for help." The videos are enhanced with tips and resources, and a printable journal feature keeps users actively engaged in the course.
Talking it Through was created by Education Northwest's National Mentoring Center, which has been a leader in the mentoring field for more than 13 years.