Creating Caring, Influential Relationships – Mentor for Purpose (Part 5)


Purposeful mentoring requires the development of caring yet influential relationships.  The influential part is about creating a receptivity on the part of the mentee to listen and adopt a growth attitude not about pushing your viewpoint.  This only occurs when a foundation of care, trust and respect is built.  We cannot change others, we can only change ourselves.

Here are some skills mentors need to establish these relationships.

  • Ask Good Open-Ended Questions. Closed questions end with a “yes or no”.  Open-ended questions, especially tough ones, require deeper thought and provide the opportunity to explore points-of-view.
  • Listen Actively. The listener makes sure the talker knows that the words AND meaning of the words are clear.  The conversation is two-way and has some balance.
  • Affirm. Find ways to say insightful, positive things and say these much more frequently (10:1) than offering criticism.  This allows the mentee to truly see the good and worth in themselves.
  • Constructive Criticism. The word “constructive” is key in that there must be a pathway to see how to do something differently.
  • Role Model. Let the mentee see values in action.  “Do as I do not just as I say.”
  • Be Available. Show up as planned with a frequency that works for both and be fully “in the moment” when together.

While my thoughts have been directed on how a mentor influences a mentee, remember that relationships are two-way.  It’s a matter of choice and attitude to personally learn too.  Be flexible.

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