What do people talk to mentors about?

Recently I received a gift box from my friends Jennah and Joel, a couple that I have mentored. Heck, I even officiated at their wedding. When I opened it and saw this keychain it made me smile from ear to ear. They reminded me that this is what I do. I am a leadership mentor, and day after day, I am engaged in mentoring men and women about life and leadership.


This past week a friend was curious and asked, “Carson, what do people want to talk to a mentor about?” 

With my head cocked slightly to the right and my inside voice going, “Hmmm?” I pondered before answering. Sharing what had come up this week, my friend found the variety of topics interesting and suggested that I write about this. So, this begins a series of posts on what people ask me as a mentor. Here are my first five:


It is not uncommon for me to engage in conversations about time. How does one give quality time to friends, spouse and family while juggling work, recreation and others’ expectations? Of course, the discussion goes deeper than just learning some time management hacks. We need to understand often the drivers beneath how we use our time.

Priorities and Goals

Very much related to how we use time, is the focus and discipline required for getting things done. I find most people function, some at a very high level, with no real priorities or goals. They can find themselves in job settings where deadlines and seasonal patterns create a false sense of focus or goal. I help people to understand their purpose, and then help them live on purpose.

Choosing between Good and Great

In his book Good to Great, Collins points out how we often settle for good instead of choosing great. After talking with mentees about the previous two areas, a mentor can be a helpful sounding board to identify what “great” would look like and how to pursue it.

Personal Development

Leaders, homemakers, business people, teachers, construction people, law enforcement, pastors, professors and entrepreneurs are among those who have approached me wanting help in growing and developing themselves. This development they seek is not about work (that will follow). They want to grow and develop. They feel like they are stagnant or, worse, stuck. Often a mentor asking the right kind of questions can draw them into seeing a plan for their development, bringing so much more pleasure in life.

Professional Development

Another form of development sought is the more specific work-related mentoring? Perhaps you have a new role or a particularly challenging situation. In either case, the listening ear of a mentor with experience can help leapfrog you ahead and provide more confidence and affirmation. The workplace has changed a great deal in the past ten years, and organizations are often willing to invest in mentoring for their people.

“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.”

Denzel Washington

How about you? What question would you like to ask a mentor at this moment in your life or career? Add a comment below, I would love to hear your thoughts.


7 thoughts on “What do people talk to mentors about?

  1. Hi Carson,

    Might I have your permission to reprint this in the Light Magazine, BC and Alberta?

    Steve Almond
    Light Christian Media
    Ph: 604-510-5070 ext 103
    Cell: 778-893-2513

    4616 203 Street
    Langley, BC V3A 5J5

    Light Magazine: British Columbia

    Includes Directory of Ministries, Schools, Camps, and Christians in business

    Light Magazine: Alberta

    Light Magazine: Engage – A focus on Mission and Ministry

    From: Carson Pue
    Reply-To: Carson Pue
    Date: Friday, April 23, 2021 at 5:16 PM
    To: Steve Almond
    Subject: [New post] What do people talk to mentors about?

    Carson Pue posted: ” Recently I received a gift box from my friends Jennah and Joel, a couple that I have mentored. Heck, I even officiated at their wedding. When I opened it and saw this keychain it made me smile from ear to ear. They reminded me that this is what I do. I a”

    1. Hi Steve. I’d be happy to have you re-print it. I am working on two other follow up posts to this with additional themes that clients speak to me as a mentor about.
      I hope that you have remained healthy during Covid and are doing well. When we can let’s plan to have a coffee together.

  2. Interesting post! I am working to learn excellent living as a single after being married for over 30 years. I was widowed in 2004, and kept myself busy with long hours of work of teaching and mentoring college students, teaching kids’ Sunday School classes, and growing & interacting in small group Bible studies. When I retired, I asked God to guide my steps and lead me into activities helping others and glorifying Him. Busy-ness is not necessarily an answer! I have pondered and prayed about finding a mentor to teach me how to be an effective leader in my singleness and to live with intentionality. My prior mentors are deceased, and most of the persons I interact with are younger than me with lives and goals much different from mine.

    God has provided my older sister to mentor me and give suggestions on ways to grow in excellence. We zoom together weekly, discussing various Bible studies, then take time to discuss life. She suggested trying a free college course from a Christian college to stretch my thinking about God. A younger sister encouraged and helped me return to active, part time nursing practice with vaccination clinics…this answered my prayers in 2020 asking God to give this nation an answer to the pandemic. In this practice, God has given me opportunity to individually interact with over 50 persons per shift … many opportunities to pray with patients and co-workers. My physician suggested I use my free time to think about how God has blessed me throughout life and to offer short prayers of thanksgiving to Him. God opened my eyes to see my sisters and others as mentors to help me continue to grow and live life with intentionality. Thanks for your post.

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