Thursday, July 31, 2014

Etiquette-Social Skills Guide with Activities

Retired Head Football Coach Tom Osborne and his wife, Nancy, founded TeamMates Mentoring Program in Nebraska in 1991. The program is the principal mentoring program with over 100 chapters in Nebraska and some in California and Iowa.

Here are two of the useful tools--quizzes, role playing and other activities--for social skills. 

Instead of using the photos in one version, assign your mentee(s) the tasks of finding photos to illustrate the types of proper attire. Of course, the photos used could be hysterically funny to young people. We would probably pick and choose from the two.

Contents: Introductions, Manners in Public, Manners Quiz & Answers, What to Wear--Proper Attire (instructions, photos & quiz), Telephone Etiquette, Invitations, Dance Etiquette, Dinner Tips, General Courtesy, Thank You Notes
Cover Page



Below is the 2013 version with some differences.

Contents: Introductions, Introducing Others, Test Your Manners & Manners Quiz Answers, Telephone Manners, What Not to Wear & I Have Nothing to Wear!, Let's Eat!

Cover Page


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Likeability for Males

Often we enjoy reading and posting articles written for men's publications such as Men's Health, Esquire, and others. Adapt for age appropriate conversations. Females can discuss these tips, too.

13 Insanely Simple Ways to Be More Likable
Everything from how you stand to what you say influences how people see you

It can take as little as 100 milliseconds for people to make up their minds about you, research has shown. That’s literally less than the blink of an eye. With that little time, everything from what you wear to what you do with your hands has an impact. 

Being likable is mainly about being accessible, says Marc Salem, Ph.D., a nonverbal communications consultant. "You want to break down barriers between you and other people," he says. If you want to make the most of those first 100 milliseconds and the ones that follow—whether it’s for a first date or a job interview—nail these 13 simple steps. (And for hundreds more tips and techniques that will not only make you more likable, but flatten your belly, sharpen your mind, and keep you healthy for life, check out The Better Men Project—the new cutting-edge book for men from the Editor-in-Chief of Men's Health.)

1. Take care of your nails
You probably already know that you should and brush your teeth and trim your beard. But nails are an often overlooked and surprisingly important part of grooming, Salem says. "It shows a basic tendency to care," he says. There's laziness to an unkempt appearance. "But when you're well groomed, you're more pleasant to be around," he says. "You sparkle and you feel better."

2. Use just enough cologne
People will like you more if you smell nice—but not too nice. A study from Northwestern University found that people rated faces as more likable if they were accompanied by a pleasant aroma, but only if they were unaware of the smell. So when putting on cologne, steer clear of using too much—two spritzes should do the trick. Subtlety is key because you want the person to like you, not your musk, says Alec Beall, a researcher who studies attraction.

3. Ditch the shades
You want to look approachable, not shady, Salem says. Covering your face creates a barrier between you and the other person and makes you seem standoffish. So save the sunglasses for when you really need them, like at the game or at the beach, and take them off when you meet new people.

4. Let Baxter tag along
Next time you head to a barbecue, ask the host if you can bring your dog. Research has shown that the furry friend can make you more likable just by being near you. People appear happier, safer, and more relaxed when they’re with man’s best friend, the study says. Plus, it's a great way to break the ice with new people. Unless of course your dog is a menace—better to leave him at home than risk pissing off (or on) the hostess.

5. Kick your feet up
Lean back in your chair, kick your feet up onto your desk, and interlace your fingers behind your head, with your elbows wide. Feels pretty good, right? A study from Columbia and Harvard universities shows that this pose will infuse you with energy and confidence. It actually changes your body chemistry: After two minutes in that position, levels of testosterone rise and levels of cortisol fall. The researchers call this "power posing" and recommend taking the pose in preparation for high-pressure social situations. In a subsequent study, people who power-posed before a mock job interview were more likely to get the job.

Just don't do this while you're with another person, Salem warns. The pose exerts dominance. If your goal is likability, you want to be accessible. 

6. Don't cross your arms
You might be chilly, but to the other person, you look rude, Salem says. If your hands are open—for example, at your sides with your palms facing the other person—it communicates that you're accepting. While you're at it, pivot to face the person head-on. This shows that you're completely vulnerable, Salem says.

7. Nod at strangers on the street
Make eye contact with your fellow humans. Being acknowledged with a glance or a smile by passersby makes people feel connected, a study from Purdue University found. (On the flip side, looking through them—gazing at their eye level but not meeting their eyes—makes them feel ostracized.) In a world where most people are busy pretending there's something interesting on their phones, you'll stand out with just a nod.

8. Flash those pearly whites
It may seem like a no-brainer that smiling makes you look friendlier, but tell that to someone from Poland, where smiling at strangers is a sign of stupidity. And if you smile at people in Norway, they assume you're drunk, crazy, or American. (Or all of the above.) The Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology found that in general, smiling people are seen as smarter. Your grin is especially safe in the U.S., Germany, and China. 
An important caveat is that your smile must be genuine. "People can pick up a fake smile a mile away," Salem says. "It comes quickly and vanishes quickly, and there's a thinness at the lips." So if you're not feeling it, don't fake it.

9. Respect the bubble
Leave a healthy space between you and your acquaintance—get too close, and you may be perceived as a threat. A study from the University of Toledo found that invading personal space causes people to sense that there may be impending violence. In the U.S., most people's bubbles extend 10 to 20 inches  from their body, Salem says. An easy rule of thumb: the closest you should get to someone is about the length from your elbow to your fingertips. 

10. Be a chameleon
People like you more when you mimic their postures, movements, and mannerisms, research has shown. For example, take note if your boss tilts his head to one side, leans forward, or smiles, and do that. Make sure it's not obvious, Salem says, or you might creep them out. "But if you do it subtly," he says, "they feel like you are entering their world."

11. Know when to shut up
Don’t be a one-upper responding to your buddy's every statement with your own story. Scientists have a name for that—reciprocal self-disclosure—and it's annoying. Research has shown that people who make empathetic statements are liked more than people who respond with their own stories. "The key is to ask thoughtful questions and resist the urge to jump in with our own comments and observations," says Chris Malone, coauthor of The HUMAN Brand: How We Relate to People, Products & Companies. "Just listen, process, and then ask another thoughtful question."

12. Don't be a Debbie Downer
Negative thoughts about how others perceive you can be self-fulfilling, according to a study from the Netherlands. The researchers say that thinking people don't like you can actually change your behavior and make you act unlikable. For example, you might avoid eye contact, stop listening, and gaze off into the distance—and who wants to hang out with a bump on a log?

13. Be you, bro
Good news: You're perceived to be trustworthy just because you're a guy, according to a new study from the University of Alabama. The researchers had people rate witnesses as they testified in court on a scale of 1 to 10 on likability, trustworthiness, confidence, and knowledge. The male witnesses received an average trustworthy score of 7.43, while the women’s was 6.70. (Men’s likability rating was higher, too, but not enough to be significant.) The researchers say it may have to do with men historically having more power and status than women. Just don't use this fact in an argument with your girlfriend.

Ret. 5-5-15

Monday, July 28, 2014

Male Mentor-Mentee/Father-Son Activities

Read "About Ed Eason" and watch his introductory video. 'Excellent!

We learned about this at The Mentoring Project's Long Live Mentoring conference, July 24-26, in Oklahoma City.

Ret. 7-28-14

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mentor-Mentee Activities

Although these documents are geared toward females, many apply to either gender. Select your favorites, or adapt as needed.

'Quite useful for discussion!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Recruiting Mentors, Football Style

We are so proud of Coach Bill Snyder and the Big 12 Conference for endorsing the Coaches' Mentoring Challenge 2014. Let's try to get all college and local coaches to support it, too.
Big 12 Football Coaches Join Coaches’ Mentoring Challenge
Big 12 Conference football coaches are partnering with MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership to join the Coaches’ Mentoring Challenge, a campaign that connects youth with caring adult mentors. The Challenge is a collective effort by leading athletic coaches to connect more caring adults and young people through quality mentoring relationships. This year’s Challenge kicks off on August 1 and runs through November 30, with final results released during the first week in December.
In addition to joining the effort, all 10 league coaches are challenging fans to volunteer to mentor youth in their communities. Several coaches have also teamed up with one of MENTOR’s affiliate Mentoring Partnerships and other nonprofit partners.
"Students in elementary, middle and high school represent our next generation of leaders, and mentoring is proven to prepare youth for excellence, effort and achievement," Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. "The Coaches’ Mentoring Challenge is an opportunity for our programs and their fans to support youth through mentoring."
"By connecting young people with caring adults we provide them with a powerful asset to achieve success in all aspects of their lives," said David Shapiro, CEO of MENTOR. "Coaches are mentors both on and off the field and they are uniquely positioned to motivate fans to become mentors. We’re grateful for the commitment of those involved and the energy brought by the Big 12 support and new coaches joining the challenge."
The campaign began as a friendly competition between K-State’s Bill Snyder and Nebraska’s Tom Osborne with the goal of rallying new volunteers for mentoring programs in their communities and states. Through this effort, participating coaches and universities have made meaningful contributions to the communities they call home. Since 2008, college coaches at an increasing number of institutions have demonstrated their commitment to closing the mentoring gap by participating in the Coaches’ Mentoring Challenge, impacting young people’s lives, their teams, campuses and communities.
Big 12 Football Coaches Participating in the 2014 Coaches’ Mentoring Challenge
• Art Briles, Baylor University
• Paul Rhoads, Iowa State University with the Iowa Mentoring Partnership
• Charlie Weis, University of Kansas with Kansas Mentors
• Bill Snyder, Kansas State University with Kansas Mentors
• Bob Stoops, University of Oklahoma with the Boren Mentoring Initiative, Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence
• Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State University with Boren Mentoring Initiative, Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence
• Gary Patterson, Texas Christian University
• Charlie Strong, University of Texas
• Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech University
• Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia University with Volunteer West Virginia   

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Minnesota School Mentoring Program

Minnesota's Northfield Public Schools has a school-based, school-led mentoring program for grades 1-12. 

Note that it receives the quality label of "100% Best Practices" from the Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota's quality standards assessment. 

From the webpage - 

Connected Kids Mentoring
Community Services_ConnectedKids 2Connected Kids is a grant-funded initiative of Northfield Public Schools in partnership with the Northfield Mentoring Coalition. The school-based mentoring initiative pairs adult volunteers one-on-one with students. Mentoring helps youth to develop strengths and talents by supporting the efforts of other significant adults such as parents and teachers. Research has shown that the more caring adults a child has in his or her life, the less likely it is that the child will engage in risky behaviors.

Connected Kids basics …

Who: Youth in grades 1-12 and adults who care about young people

 A one-on-one mentoring relationship, providing friendship, encouragement and academic support.

 Year round, during or after school, for 1 to 2 hours per week plus e-mentoring

 At our elementary schools, St. Dominic or Northfield Middle School

 Mentoring is one of the most effective ways to help young people achieve their potential and discover their strengths.

Community Services_Mentoring Expert Seal

Connected Kids has earned the designation of “Expert Partner” by the Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota for meeting the highest standards for a quality mentoring program.

Connected Kids benefits …


  • Time with a caring adult
  • Better academic performance and test scores
  • Better attendance
  • Stronger attachment to school
  • Better self esteem and interpersonal relations


  • Extra support for children
  • Safe environment for children
  • Improved relationship with school staff


  • Learn from mentees
  • Reap rewards through helping a young person succeed
  • Honor people who mentored them
  • Help make the world a better place


  • Better test results
  • Improved student behavior
  • Community engagement in education

The Community

  • Kids are more connected to the community    Ret. 7-3-14

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Resource: Talking to Youths and Parents

While looking at resources and programs on other states' mentoring partnership websites, we found Connected Kids.

This is an additional resource for mentoring organizations and mentors. 

Cover of the full guide
As more mentoring programs incorporate parental involvement and embed a little parenting/relationship training within pleasant sessions, these tools will be helpful.

Developed and sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Connected Kids offers a clearly written chronological guideline for child development and conversation topics from birth through adolescence. The material is presented in various ways, for example, the overview, complete clinical guide, and PowerPoint presentations of the full training module, tips, early childhood, middle childhood and adolescence.

Written for primarily for pediatricians to use with their patients, the topics are practical and necessary. Much can be learned without purchasing additional materials.

We will read through the materials and incorporate ideas in our training for mentors and parents. Share your evaluation of the materials.

Developed and sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics    Ret. 7-3-14

Excerpt from the overview

Slide from the PowerPoint on adolescents

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Fishing I

Community-based mentors can take their mentees fishing, and site-based mentoring groups can create a group mentor-mentee fishing or fishing tournament activity. If neither a mentor nor a mentee is a fisherman, both can learn together. Mentoring staff can learn, too, for the group project! 

Consider all the research into types of local fish, their habits and bait preferences. Look at lures. Perhaps learn to tie fly fishing lures. Make stink bait! Practice casting. Visit a hatchery if one is nearby. Discuss "catch and release" for conservation.

How much more fun would it be to have a fish fry afterwards on the same day or the next month? Clean and freeze the fish, of course, if keeping for next month. 'Endless possibilities!

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation offers information about fishing--where and how.  From the site - 

Close to Home Fishing Opportunities

Looking for a nearby lake or pond to fish in? Through agreements between Oklahoma municipalities and the Wildlife Department, these areas offer excellent "Close to Home" fishing opportunities in metro areas.

In addition to state fishing license requirements, some municipalities require daily or annual city fishing permits. Check with local officials for details on cost and permit vendor locations. Phone numbers for city offices are listed below.

Close-to-Home Fishing waters have the following additional restrictions:

• Fishing is limited to no more than three (3) rods and reels per person, with no more than three (3) hooks per line (treble hooks are considered one hook). No other fishing methods are allowed, except noodling is allowed in the North Canadian River from the NW 10th Street bridge downstream to the MacArthur Street bridge in OKC.

• All largemouth and smallmouth bass caught must be released (returned to the water) immediately after being taken; no harvest is allowed.

• Channel catfish and blue catfish have a combined daily limit of six (6); no size limits apply.

For all other species, consult the statewide regulations.

Oklahoma City (405) 755-4014:

• Crystal Lake (6625 SW 15th)
• Dolese Youth Park (5105 NW 50th)
• Edwards Park (1515 N. Bryant Avenue)
• Kids Lake (3200 W Wilshire Boulevard)
• Route 66 Park (9901 NW 23rd)
• South Lakes Regional Park (4210 SW 119th) Note - west pond fishing access is closed.
• Zoo Lake (2101 NE 50th) east shoreline only

Choctaw (405) 390-8198:

• Choctaw Creek Park (NE 23rd Street and Harper Road)
• Ten Acre Park (NE 10th Street and Choctaw Road)

Del City (405) 671-2868:

• Eagle Lake (3405 E Reno)

Edmond (405) 216-7641:

Hafer Park (1034 S. Bryant Avenue)
Mitch Park (1501 W. Covell Road)
Bickham-Rudkin Park (450 E. 33rd Street)

Other cities's lakes listed on this website are El Reno, Enid, Guthrie, Harrah, Jenks, Lawton, Moore, Mustang, Norman, Yukon, OKC and Jenks trout fishing and Tulsa.    

The Angler's Corner of the website gives helpful information suitable for beginners experts.   

Also, the Department of Wildlife Conservation sponsors a Youth Writing Contest.

Ret. 7-1-14