Don Bosco's Mentoring Technique


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A great example of how one can be a great mentor!

Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd


The advice he used to give in the playground became known as “the word in the ear.” For as long as he was able to, Don Bosco took part in the boys’ recreation.... This gave him the opportunity to get to know them, and speak an appropriate word to each of them, at the right moment.

Don Bosco would put his hand on a boy’s head, lean over and whisper a word secretly in his ear, putting the other hand round his mouth so that nobody else would hear. It took only a few seconds but the results were magic! You could see the change of expression on the boy’s face and the reaction: a sudden smile, a serious look, a blushing or tears, an answer yes or no, repeating Don Bosco’s gesture by whispering in his ear, hearing the word again, a shout of thanks and running off to play or to the chapel, It sometimes happened that a boy heard Don Bosco’s word and remained by his side as if absorbed in some marvelous idea.

Other effects were seen later: greater diligence in his scholastic duties, better behavior or greater charity towards his companions.