Attitude: Relationships (Class 6)

Straight-A Guide Job Training Program

Lesson #6: Attitude: Relationships

Importance of building mentor relationships

Materials Required:

  • Classroom space
  • Sufficient number of chairs with writing surface
  • Handout on steps to find mentors

Introduce Lesson #6 (5 minutes):

  • Provide overview of why mentors advance candidacy for success.

First steps (10 minutes):

  • Take roll of participants.
  • Facilitator discusses one of his mentors. Facilitator tells group steps he took to find mentor and describes the ways that his mentor helps to keep him in pursuit of success.

Goals and Objectives (5 minutes):

  • Explain reason why each participant should leave class with a full understanding of how to pursue strategic path toward bringing multiple mentors into his life.

Expected Learning Outcomes (5 minutes):

  • Facilitator explains that by the end of class, each participant should understand the value that mentors add to an individual’s life. Participants should establish strategic plan to bring at least one mentor into his life within the next 30 days.

Preliminary introduction (5 minutes):

  • Facilitator asks class to help him define characteristics of an ideal mentor.
  • Facilitator writes down characteristics on white board for all to see.
  • Facilitator asks class the likelihood of finding such a mentor.

Direct Instruction (10 minutes):

  • Facilitator asks for volunteer from the class.
  • Facilitator asks the volunteer to role-play the ideal mentor identified from the earlier exercise.
  • Facilitator makes a pitch for the volunteer to become his mentor.

Guided Practice (20 minutes):

  • Facilitator launches group into breakout session with groups of five.
  • Facilitator tasks group with defining characteristics of an ideal mentor.

Facilitator asks one leader from each group to describe reasons behind the ideal mentor that the group identified.


Lesson #6: Handout on steps to finding a mentor

In the books that Michael Santos wrote while serving 26 years in prison, he emphasized the importance of finding mentors. As a long-term prisoner, he recognized that by reaching beyond the walls and persuading people to believe in him, he would open new options that might help him transition into society once he completed his sentence. He wrote that anyone could use the same strategies to advance himself. Since he could persuade mentors to come into his life while he was serving decades inside of federal prison, anyone else could do the same. But it wouldn’t happen by accident. Below are five strategies Michael says that he keeps in mind when he is on the lookout for mentors, and he is always on the lookout:


  • Define the characteristics you’re looking to find in a mentor.
    • If you understand your mentor and you understand the values he admires, you can begin positioning yourself to embody those same values.
  • Think about strategies to show that you’re worthy of support.
    • If a mentor is going to help you, the mentor will have to invest time. The mentor will be more likely to invest time if he sees how hard you’re working to change your life.
  • Be on the lookout for potential mentors anywhere.
    • Remember that mentors can come from all walks of life. Some will be older than you and some will be younger than you. Some will excel in particular areas of their life, but they will appear to be outstanding or extraordinary in other areas of their life. Those who are on the lookout for mentors understand that every individual has something of value to contribute. Seek and you shall find!
  • Don’t ask for anything but guidance.
    • Prospective mentors may find it crude if someone were to approach them with a request for money, an introduction, or something tangible. The individual who is serious about finding a mentor must think creatively to persuade more people to help. If an individual searching for a mentor can show that he wants to prove worthy of sponsorship, he will attract more mentors into his life.
  • Practice your presentation skills.
    • Remember that finding a mentor is a sales job. Successful people have many responsibilities competing for their time. Leaders want to see others succeed, but they’re not willing to back losers, or people who aren’t serious about investing in themselves. Practice your efforts to persuade others why they should believe in you.