Mentors are ordinary people who have chosen to share their life lessons with someone who could do with a little help. Since the day we launched the Be the Mentor initiative just 3 years ago, we have grown our community of everyday heroes to over 8,000 participants who have taken the pledge and helped someone in their life.
Anyone can be a mentor. All you need is the passion to be better than you were yesterday and the courage to change the world around you for the better. Mentors embrace various characteristics to help them connect with mentees and build trust.
Below are five tips on how to establish trust with your mentee to ensure your guidance has an impact and you’re the best mentor you can be.
Keep your routine
Predictability builds trust. By creating a routine with your mentor meetups, calls or messages you are able to set expectations that can be met on a regular basis. Once met, it helps to reinforce trust in both parties and grow your relationship.
Give them space
Being a mentor doesn't mean you're a parent or a guardian. It means that you're a close friend they can count on and who'll give them space to accept change, as well as adjust to social circumstances when they are ready. Be patient and try to remember how you felt when you were that age.
Mean what you say
Your mentee has to deal with many adults saying one thing and doing another. Especially when it comes to drinking alcohol. When sharing valuable advice don't second guess yourself and let them wonder. Be clear and confident in your guidance and actions, be honest about your feelings and what you want for them in order to lead by example.
Listen without judgement
Think of the people you've trusted most in your life. There's a good chance that most of them were people who listened to you when you were frustrated, angry, upset or just needed someone to talk to. They didn't condemn you for the way you felt but listened to your concerns and offered appropriate and timely counsel, without judgement or blame. Listening shows you care for people and is a critical component of building trust.*
Tell the truth and give them the benefit of the doubt
By admitting your own mistakes and showing them how your actions lead to certain situations, they have something to relate to and learn from. Afterwards, a fine indicator of trust is giving them the benefit of the doubt. Change is not easy but giving them the chance to prove themselves will increase the loyalty between the two of you and enforce stronger reasons to make better choices in tough situations.
Let us know if you've tried any of these tips or if you have advice from your own experience on our Be The Mentor Facebook page, click here.
If you feel you can help change someone else's future, click here.