Belief and Mentoring

mentor belief

I love the sentiment in that picture above.

“It would be a stretch for others to believe in you at a level higher than yourself. Your mentors are an exception.”

Today I’ve just had two mentoring conversations and so feel like musing on the power of belief in mentoring and sharing some experiences both as mentor and mentee.

In summary, if you feel your mentor doesn’t believe in you at least as much as you believe in yourself, they are not the right mentor for you.

In those two mentoring conversations today, it occurred to me that I really believe in the people I mentor and yes, sometimes at a level higher than they even believe in themselves.

In fact in a card on my desk are written the a context word around my mentoring, along with three attributes I am told I bring as a mentor:





inspire be inspired

That context word of INSPIRE relates to my favourite “virtuous circle” fro Hugh McLeod and to my belief that mentoring is about “mutual exchange of energy”, so a mentor must both inspire their mentee and be inspired by them. I’ve always felt strong and long-term mentoring relationships develop from such inspiration.

As to those three attributes, perhaps the most powerful to bring is to believe in your mentee.

Ed Percival

In “Ed Percival – my greatest mentor in life” I shared my experience of being mentored by Ed, but on reflection around belief and mentoring I recognise that one of the most important things he brought to me as a mentor was how strongly he believed in me and my potential. Thank you, Ed.

Oprah Winfrey

These words from Oprah on her own definition of mentoring. Note that she too focussed on belief.

“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself. A mentor is someone who allows you to know that no matter how dark the night, in the morning joy will come. A mentor is someone who allows you to see the higher part of yourself when sometimes it becomes hidden to your own view.” – Oprah Winfrey

Also published on Medium.

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