Uncovering the Root Cause

Building trust and respect into the mentoring relationship

Key Takeaway

We need to take the time to listen to what is being said so that we can uncover the essence of the issue faced and thereafter, effectively influence those we help.

Sometimes we cannot see what stands before us until we engage with our mentor and the right questions are asked to guide us to what we need to see. In this way, the gift of mentoring can open our eyes to so many things.

Challenges as relationships grow

When we are dealing with relationships, no matter what part of our life they may be part of, there are always challenges as the relationship grows. The relationship can grow in a positive direction or it can grow in a negative one.


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Mentoring is a two way street : you get out what you put in –  Steve Washington, Casentric

Certified Mentor Practitioner Level 1


We have the power to influence which direction the relationship is headed towards if we choose to assume that role. All too often, I hear of people who prefer not to work at growing the positive relationship and who would rather opt for the negative path as it is less work and fits their negative persona more closely.

Can you have trust without respect or respect without trust?

Let’s take a look at one example that I recently encountered.

Building respect

If I were to say to you, “What is the difference between respect and trust?”, would you be able to provide me with a definition?

Can you have trust without respect or respect without trust?
Do you know which one is impacting the growth of any healthy relationship you have?
Can you move past any obstacles or barriers that you have allowed to be in place where you see the negative relationship caused by lack of respect versus trust?

Perhaps one of the barriers that we encounter is the feeling that there is something that we have no control over but which we feel the need to dwell on because we believe it does us some good. Can you move past that place and focus on what you can do to grow the relationship?

What I have found through the mentoring process is that, as a mentor, I can help you see the barriers and obstacles that you have placed before you. As a mentor, I can help you see the impact this has on those around you and on yourself. You get to better understand the things that you have influence over and the things that truly matter in your relationship. You get to see the elements of the relationship that you must invest the care and feeding in if you want the relationship to have substance and meaning.

Respect is an interesting topic.
Can you respect the position but not the person in the position?
What might the impact be in that particular situation?
If you only respect the position, what does that say about the person in that role?

Trust is critical

Trust is hard to build but it is crucial in a mentoring relationship. All things considered, trust is crucial in all sorts of relationships. Without trust, you truly have nothing. Understanding what things you have control over in the development of trust and maintaining that commitment are important to assist you in working past the barriers and obstacles that you have put before you.

Understand the difference between respect and trust and listen –  for the trigger words  – in the conversation.

Take the time

I encourage you to take a step back and survey the landscape. By not putting in the effort to understand the difference and how to combat the barriers and obstacles, it will undoubtedly end in a broken relationship, enhanced negativity and a toxic workplace that you have helped create.

Take the time, as a mentor, to listen and hear what is being said. Ask the guiding questions to help the person you are spending time with to find the answers they are searching for. Understand the difference between respect and trust and listen –  for the trigger words  – in the conversation. Those trigger words will guide you on the path that you both must take.

The “gift of mentoring” is a powerful tool that we need to leverage more often. Can we afford not to?

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