The Center for Creative Leadership identifies “people” as a resource contributing to 30% of individual learning and growth. Mentors usually are seen as “wise guides,” those who can challenge, encourage and help you walk through learning situations with thought-provoking questions. They share their experiences and provide a safe space to learn. Mentors have the ability to provide both professional advice that you can trust and also their experiences in a professional field or role of interest to you. When entering into a mentorship you should do your best to take full advantage of their knowledge and experience. Below are a few helpful tips to ensure you make the most of mentoring.
1. Be prepared
It’s up to you to guide the content of these meetings. Take a few minutes to think through what would be of most value – and don’t be afraid to share that with your mentor.
2. Challenges are ok
If there is something you want to talk through – don’t be afraid to ask. Everyone has challenges (including your mentor) and they can often provide a different perspective.
3. Leverage networks
Ask your mentor to introduce you to their network.
4. Be Included
Ask if there are projects and/or opportunities your mentor could include you in or expose you to that would deepen your perspective.
5. Get Feedback
Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback or guidance. Often mentors can provide alternative viewpoints to help expand your thinking.
Mentors can be a great source for learning materials and tools. Encourage them to share articles, blogs, tools, books that they find interesting.
7. Be proactive
Schedule time proactively and on a recurring basis.
8. Share your goals
Mentors are a great resource to weigh in on goals and progress.
9. Leverage face to face
Use facetime, webcams and of course “in person” time when possible.
10. Say “Thanks”
Mentors have volunteered their time to help guide you. Don’t be afraid to send them a thank you.
Do you have any tips to add? Send us your tips for getting the most of mentoring here.