Every mentor recognises that it can be challenging to structure conversations to aid problem solving. The Mentor’s Mantra was developed by Richard Daniel Curtis to provide a structure for how a mentor can facilitate such conversations.
These four steps feature daily part of a mentor’s work and make a huge difference to the way that support is received by the mentee.
You are safe
To begin addressing a problem you need to feel safe, therefore in mentoring it is important to develop a sense of trust in your relationship, by creating a safe mentoring environment.
It’s alright to think about it
Be emotionally literate and help them to identify the emotions they are feeling, the problems they are experiencing and work out how to describe the barrier they are facing. Let the silence grow, don’t interrupt it, let them work out what they are thinking and put their thoughts in order. Acknowledge the thoughts, reassure the individual.
It’s alright to talk about it
When the time is right the person will begin to talk about the problem. By acknowledging the barrier and giving them the space to be open to it you will begin to facilitate the problem solving steps.
Let me help you make a plan
As a trusted mentor you can now help the individual to experiment with different solutions to tackle the issue they are facing. Help them in the process of planning their next steps.