Six Questions to Ask Before We Mentor Someone

By on February 1, 2014

By Heidi McLaughlin –

When we say “YES” to start the journey of mentoring someone, how do we know we have made a good choice? I have landed in a couple of sticky situations that have taught me to ask some good and hard questions.

In one of my mentoring relationships my mentee became so attached to me that when I ended our mentoring time, she was very angry with me. In another situation we had to end our time together because the mentee was not committed to working on some of her issues and we struggled to find a mutually agreeable time.

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Here are some questions I ask myself before I commit to a mentoring relationship.

  1. Is there an authentic desire to be mentored?  If the person being mentored is not serious about wanting to learn and grow, both parties eventually become frustrated and realize they are wasting their time.
  2. Do you really like each other? That may seem like a simple question but if your personalities are extreme opposites, it will be difficult to reach goals and grow together spiritually and intimately.
  3. Do you both have the time and discipline to commit to this?
  4. What is the aim of this relationship? Is it to help someone through a difficult period in their lives? Is it to grow spiritually? Is it to learn life skills from another woman? Is it to heal a marriage or find balance in a busy life?
  5.  Do you both know why you are doing this?  Speak about all your expectations and be very clear about the goal of this relationship.
  6.  How long is this period of mentoring? One year, two years? A lifetime?

In my previous article I stated that each mentoring relationship is unique and we need to be open to use all the resources we can find. There are great mentoring books that you can purchase and they can guide you through a process. But I have found that the women I am mentoring mostly want to share their struggles and are looking to me for answers on “how to live this complicated and overwhelming life.”  I make it very clear that we will find the answers together through the infiltration of the Holy Spirit, the word of God and the power of prayer.

All my mentoring situations are unique. Right now I am mentoring a woman once a month in Virginia through Skype.  I have just finished a mentoring situation with a young woman in South Africa through e-mails.  Presently I am meeting a couple of women face to face once a month or every 3 weeks. I continue to mentor a young gal that I have been mentoring for 16 years. She is now married and has three children. A year ago one of my beautiful mentees died from a brain tumor. I was able to introduce her to Jesus Christ and give her hope through her difficult cancer journey. Days before she died we exchanged these words: “Suzette I love you.” She replied: “I love you to.”  What a joy to be part of this journey of watching a woman grow into one of God’s most glorious creations on earth and into eternity.

Yes it takes commitment and sacrifice. When women ask me how they can make a difference in this world I tell them: “Start with one person and commit to journey with them to help them grow into the person God creation them to be.” There is no greater joy and value in this world.

About Heidi McLaughlin

Heidi McLaughlin lives in the beautiful vineyards of the Okanagan Valley in Kelowna, British Columbia. She is married to Pastor Jack and they have a wonderful, eclectic blended family of 5 children and 9 grandchildren. When she is not working, she loves to curl up with a great book; or golf and laugh with her husband, family and special friends. You can reach her at:

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Six Questions to Ask Before We Mentor Someone