All good mentoring relationships begin with a personal relationship. As your people get to know and like you, their desire to follow your direction and learn from you will increase. If they don’t like you, they will not want to learn from you, and the equipping process can slow down or even stop.
To build relationships, begin by listening to people’s life stories — their journeys so far. Your genuine interest will mean a lot to them, and it will also help you to know their personal strengths and weaknesses. Ask them about their goals and what motivates them. Find out what kind of temperament they have. You may not want to equip a “numbers person” for a job that deals primarily with disgruntled customers.
And one of the best ways to get to know people is to see them outside of the world where you lead them (i.e. work, whether paid or volunteer). People are usually on their guard at work. They try to be what others want them to be. By getting to know them in other settings, you can get a glimpse of who they really are.
Try to learn as much as you can about your people and do your best to win their hearts. If you first find someone’s heart, they’ll be glad to offer you their hand.
Adapted from The Maxwell Daily Reader