Tools to get them talking…

Life can get overwhelming. Especially for young people. Without the much needed perspective, any situation can be perceived as “too much to handle”.

As mentors we have to provide our mentees with “Handles”. A handle gives you control and makes you feel safe. So how do we do this? We help them break life down into chewable sizes.

For this we like use Scaling Questions.

Here’s a great tool to use to get your mentee talking. We call it the Scaling Questions. It’s also referred to as the life wheel or balance wheel. It’s an easy way to help you understand your situation by breaking down your perception of your situation in grades. Alrhough this tool is available all over the internet, it is mainly used in the therepeutic process. In other words, it comes with a warning…

IMPORTANT: If you are not qualified as a psychologist, therapist or counsellor…don’t psycho-analyse, conduct therapy or counsel!!

The idea is to get your mentee talking, or rather to help them find words to describe their world. It’s crucial for mentors to never overstep their legal or competence boundaries!!

Use it, as you would any other mentoring tool, responsibly within your scope of competence. Respect the boundaries!

So the Scaling Questions works like this: The mentee can name areas they see as being part of their everyday life (school, friends, family, interest, etc.) They then rate each area individually on a scale of zero-to-ten. Ten being really good and zero being really bad.

Scoring areas of their life respectively, simply gives the mentee a framework to start seeing their world from a vantage point, providing a little perspective and the ability to identify areas that need attention. Once each area is given a score out of ten, the mentor can then ask the mentee why they chose to score each area the way they did.

As mentors, we don’t assume anything and we don’t go on to decide which area needs to be worked on and how to go about it. We guide the process of discovering and managing life’s challenges. Should an issue arise where the mentee might need counselling, they should then be referred to the right people.

The goal of the scaling questions is to get them talking, and help them assess what’s really going on in their life. The mentor can then help them gain perspective and hope to tackle each challenge on its own.

May this tool help you mentor effectively and responsibly!

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