Its Not The Content, Its The Feeling


Instilling faith is what a good teacher must do. If someone struggles, any mentor needs to realize the content is secondary to the feeling if the other is to get better and grow.

For the receiver, it’s the feeling that he or she is cared for that has to come across.

The student must feel the teacher believes she can solve the equation.

A worker must feel the boss thinks he can deliver the assignment.

An athlete must feel the coach thinks she can score.

And the patient has to feel the therapist cares for her or his well-being.

Sometimes, we the mentor, need to dramatize the situation or be self-sacrificing so the other doesn’t think we care, but rather feel we do. We must do this because the dramatic response helps the person feel buoyed; imagine they will be better. Funny how an act can be emotionally satisfying even though we know it might be a little bit theatrical!

We don’t want to make it a technical lecture, it’s not how people talk. The greater the impact is not as a therapist, minister, teacher or boss but as a person. So join and talk to people like people, use plain language.

The hope is our mentee feels special and loved and that what we are telling them is magic. This approach helps the person begin to feel optimistic, like there is a new medicine.

The content is varied with each situation, but if the person feels they don’t have to fight his or her issue alone, that they have a real ally who will carry real weight, and they have reinforcement, then he or she has real hope.

So when your child, mentee, student, employee, or patient feel down or uncertain, give them a boost. And when delivering your care, remember its not in the content but in the feeling.

Tom Kearns, LMSW