Mentoring Quotes That Are Sure to Inspire

Like any other relationship, a mentoring relationship needs a healthy dose of inspiration from time to time.

If you're currently a mentor, mentoree, mentoring program manager, or simply someone who appreciates inspirational quotes, check out our favorites below . . . along with added insight on how each quote relates to mentoring.

QUOTE: "Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn." ― Benjamin Franklin

How this quote relates to mentoring: In a mentoring relationship, the mentor and mentoree should work together towards one main goal: helping the mentoree transform, both professionally and personally. By involving the mentoree directly in the process, he or she learns significant things about himself or herself—lessons that will last a lifetime.

QUOTE: "I am not a teacher, but an awakener." ― Robert Frost

How this quote relates to mentoring: Every mentor should keep this quote posted somewhere.

QUOTE: "There is nothing I like better than conversing with aged men. For I regard them as travelers who have gone a journey which I too may have to go, and of whom I ought to inquire whether the way is smooth and easy or rugged and difficult. Is life harder toward the end, or what report do you give it?" ― Plato

How this quote relates to mentoring: In a traditional mentoring relationship, a more senior employee is paired with a junior employee, with the idea being the senior employee will likely have much wisdom to share with the mentoree.

But we also believe that everyone comes to the table with their own wisdom, thanks to different life experiences. This explains why reverse mentoring—having the junior employee mentor the senior employee in a specific area, such as social media—can be so effective.

QUOTE: "Rather than literally burning the midnight oil, which he judged to be unhealthy, John Adams advised his son to make the most of college by developing an inquisitive outlook that would prompt him to get to know the most exceptional scholars and question them closely. 'Ask them about their tutors, manner of teaching. Observe what books lie on their tables. Fall into questions of literature, science, or what you will.'" ― David McCullough

How this quote relates to mentoring: The most successful mentorees ask their mentors thought-provoking questions, listen carefully to the answers, and discover how and what to apply to their own lives.

QUOTE: "Search for role models you can look up to and people who take an interest in your career. But here's an important warning: you don't have to have mentors who look like you. Had I been waiting for a black, female Soviet specialist mentor, I would still be waiting. Most of my mentors have been old white men, because they were the ones who dominated my field." ― Condoleeza Rice

How this quote relates to mentoring: When you first learn about who your mentor or mentoree is, resist making snap judgments. Your mentoring program manager likely paired you together for specific reasons. Be open to the possibilities.

QUOTE: "The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves." ― Steven Spielberg

How this quote relates to mentoring: This quote sums up mentoring beautifully. As a mentor, you shouldn't be trying to create a carbon copy of yourself. Instead, allow your mentoree the space to discover who he or she wants to be and then help your mentoree nurture that person into existence. 

Do you have a favorite mentoring quote? We'd love to hear it. Share it with us on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Here's to your mentoring success!