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#2 Building Trust

Now that the two of you know each other better and have some shared experiences under your belt, you and your mentee may experience greater trust. Your mentee may be coming out of his shell, feeling better about himself or simply more confident because you have demonstrated that you care. As a result, he may share more information with you. He may start to rely on you more for support and validation in this stage, possibly to the point of becoming over-dependent. At this stage, you may be experiencing more satisfaction with the mentoring relationship. You also may, however, be feeling overwhelmed by the extent of the issues faced by the mentee.

Strategies for this stage:
• Be patient.
• Expect setbacks.
• If you think your mentee is becoming too dependent, set limits around the frequency and duration of visits, and encourage him to broaden his support network.
• Be involved, yet keep perspective.
• Continue to be consistent and reliable.
• Continue to treat your mentee as capable.

Reprinted with permission from Search Institute®. From Mentoring for Meaningful Results: Asset-Building Tips, Tools, and Activities for Youth and Adults. Copyright © 2008 Search Institute, Minneapolis, MN; 800-888-7828; All rights reserved.