Although the generation gap creates plenty of differences between mentor and mentee, you have one thing in common: you’re both entering a new relationship. That can create awkwardness for both of you. In the beginning, discuss this with your mentee so he or she recognizes that similarity too. However, as the adult, you have the benefit of a few extra years of experience and confidence.
You and your mentee both have things to offer in this new relationship. Be curious, and you’ll learn from your mentee as much as he or she will learn from you. You don’t need to be an expert in today’s music, slang, fashion or popular apps to make a connection with a young person. On the other hand, you shouldn’t adopt a superior attitude, reminding your mentee how much he or she doesn’t know as a kid. Your student wants you to be a grown-up -- but one who seeks a connection and intentionally looks for common ground.