The Mentor’s Mantra

Many people with structuring different conversations to help mentor others over a particular hurdle, help them comes to terms with something, deal with loss or grief.  It can be hard for some to raise difficult subjects or find a way of letting a conversation develop in order to help a mentees emotional or mental health.

When helping an individual to overcome barriers, much of the work is done by facilitating thought and conversation about a particular problem (for example grief, their separation anxiety or self-harming).  The Mentor’s Mantra was developed by Richard Daniel Curtis in 2015 to provide a structure for this.

1 You are safe

To begin addressing a problem you need to feel safe, so when mentoring it is important to develop a sense of security and trust in your relationship.

2 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 block 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.

3 It’s alright to talk about it

When the time is right the person will begin to talk about the problem.  By acknowledging the block and giving them the space to be open to it you will begin to facilitate the problem solving steps.

4 Let me help you make a plan

As a trusted mentor you can now help the individual to experiment with different solutions to the issue, problem or barrier.  Advise and guide them so that they can plan their next steps.

These four steps feature as a daily part of a mentor’s work and make a huge difference to the way that support is received by the mentee.