Building Trust

June 2023 Mentor Message by Dave Fisher (current mentor)

I believe trust is the foundation of any successful mentoring relationship. As my mentee and I have strengthened our trust in each other, we’ve both felt more comfortable sharing our thoughts and feelings, seeking understanding, and giving and receiving feedback. This level of trust has allowed our relationship to flourish and grow.

Here are some suggestions for building and strengthening trust:

  • Be honest and transparent. Mentors and mentees should be honest with each other about their expectations, goals, and challenges. They should also be transparent about their own experiences and knowledge.
  • Be supportive and encouraging. Mentors should be supportive of their mentees’ goals and dreams. They should be good listeners who are consistently positive and encouraging, even when things get tough.
  • Be respectful. Mentors and mentees should treat each other with respect, even when they disagree. They should also be mindful of each other’s feelings and boundaries.
  • Be reliable. Mentors and mentees should be reliable and keep their promises. They should also be available and responsive to each other’s needs.
  • Be open-minded. Mentors and mentees should be open-minded to new ideas and perspectives. Although they may not share the same beliefs and values, they should be willing to learn from each other.
  • Get to know each other. Spend some time getting to know each other outside of the mentoring relationship. This will help you build rapport and trust.

My relationship with my mentee started out quite slowly, but as we both practiced the principles above, we strengthened mutual trust and began to see real growth in our relationship, even in difficult and challenging conversations. Now, as we spend time together in various activities, our communication is easier and our interaction is truly enjoyable.