#5 Keep it Confidential
To have the greatest impact, mentoring must be up close and personal. This can happen long distance (phone, email, letters) or face to face. Trust is important to any relationship including that of mentor and mentoree. Once trust is violated it takes too long to rebuild. Some people are more vulnerable and open about their lives and some are less vulnerable and private. Whatever the case may be, keep all things confidential and don’t share with another without permission.
Early in my ministry I made mistakes in this area. I learned that just because I was open about some matters did not mean that everyone is or should be. I also learned something from my children that many of you have also learned. Both of my boys are different. One is more private and the other more transparent. To be respectful I try to ask permission before using a personal family illustration that involves one of them.
Today I try to make it a habit to share in one-to-one relationships and small groups that“what we talk about stays between us.” Making this a practice helps others to feel like I am a safe place. When people trust you as a confident I am amazed at how God opens up hearts.
What about you? What is your experience on this subject? Do you have a safe person to bleed with?