Mentor Tip: Conversation Starters

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Subject: Mentoring tips on conversation starters

A challenge faced by any electronic mentoring community is getting conversations started. As a mentor you have the responsibility to engage protégés in conversations that promote growth and build trust. Here are a few discussion ideas to get you started.

  • Introduce yourself and ask protégés about themselves.
  • Talk about your hobbies, favorite movies, books, music, family, community where you live, etc.
  • Ask protégés about their hobbies, favorite books, music, family, school, academic and career plans, etc.
  • Talk about your education (favorite classes, teachers, school).
  • Talk about your first job.
  • Talk about how you secured your current job. What specialized training have you had?
  • Talk about how to locate an internship or job opportunity.
  • Offer to help protégés develop or improve their résumés.
  • Talk about interviewing techniques, such as dressing for success, answering specific questions, and disclosing disabilities.
  • Talk about disability-related accommodations in school or on the job.
  • Offer to help protégés locate summer employment or make career contacts.
  • Talk about balancing school, work, and social life.
  • Share websites you think protégés might find useful or interesting.