Having a Conversation about Personal Issues in Mentoring

mentoring relationshipWhenever you are involved in mentoring, there is a good possibility that at some point your mentoree may share some very personal issues that they are dealing with.  Some may feel uncomfortable or unprepared to deal with such issues, but it's important to recognize that this is an important moment in the mentoring relationship and you should not let this pass. Below is a sample script you might find helpful if you encounter this situation:


Sample Script: Mentoring Gets Personal

I appreciate your sharing this information with me. It says a lot about the trust we’ve built. I want to be helpful as best I can and as we discuss this further, it may become apparent that you may need to seek outside assistance to provide you with the help you need beyond my own limited expertise. Are you open to my suggestions to seek additional assistance if that becomes necessary? OK.

Tell me more about what is going on and how this is impacting you in your current job.

This is obviously a difficult time for you, what possible solutions can we explore that would assist you in this situation?

Are there resources either within the company, such as an Employee Assistance program or Human Resources, or outside the company that can assist you in this situation?

How do you want to proceed from here? What do you see as my role? What do you see as yours?

Let me share with you my own concerns.

Before we end our session, I need further clarification…or I need to summarize what we’ve agreed to.

When will we meet again to follow up on what we’ve agreed to do? 

For more mentoring relationship tips and tricks, check out our eBook: Creating A Successful Mentoring Relationship: Training Tips and Tricks.

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Topics: Mentors & Mentorees