“How do I get my mentee to trust me? We’ve met twice in person, talk weekly by phone and I feel like he isn’t telling me the whole story.”
Your mentor role doesn’t entitle you to trust. In fact, since you are likely an authority figure, you are at a disadvantage. Trust doesn’t come naturally; especially for those of us burned by someone we trusted. But it’s worth taking steps to create trust because the rewards can be life changing. For the mentee and the mentor. Try this…
Trust comes by having the courage to share your story, show vulnerability, express your fears. In the old days leaders were programmed to have all the answers. It was a sign of weakness to admit not knowing or, heaven forbid, you admit you made a mistake! It’s a new world, no one has all the answers and mentors who share their mistakes and lessons take steps to tearing down a wall of authority and building a bridge of trust.
Mentors – have you demonstrated that you trust your mentees? Trust before you expect to be trusted.