The ability to sense what someone else is feeling, to understand major elements of another’s circumstances is essential to mentoring. For example, there is the story of a technically gifted violinist who was told by his professor, after years of training and rehearsals, to give up on a concert career. Why? Because he had no interest or inclination to make someone else’s thoughts or emotions his own.
This skilled performer couldn’t get past his self-concern. He wasn’t able to develop empathy for audience members. Because of this, he couldn’t communicate TO them since they felt no vital connection FROM him.
Mentees need to feel Mentors’ affinity for them and for their concerns. When that connection is generated, the mentoring process becomes natural and successful, furthering growth of both Mentor and Mentee in achieving life and career goals.