Last week I conducted a quarterly session of mentorees at a client location and I asked this question:
"How would you (as mentorees) describe the mentoring relationship?"
The response I received blew me away as I found it to be such a powerful but succinct description of what developing a mentoring relationship is all about. Here's the response I received:
"In the beginning, a mentor listens for facts. As the relationship progresses, the mentor begins to listen to the whole person--emotions, values, opinions, etc.
At the same time, the mentoree share facts until trust has built and then the mentoree begins to share who they really are, providing more than just the facts, providing their voice."
Naturally, a business mentoring relationship may start out formally/factual. Over the course of the relationship, there are many ways that a mentor can build trust, thus allowing the mentoree to feel confident enough to confide and share in a way that will help to develop the relationship, and ultimately, benefit the mentoree.