“How can I find the right mentor for ME?” Ashley emphatically asked me. “I’m always on the lookout, and yet no one ever seems to pop up. Or if I see someone I might like to approach, I’m not sure how to get things rolling. What should I do??”
I could see the frustration in her eyes, and despite the emphatic tone in her voice, a bit of resignation came across as well.
Success is really a matter of the mentee making a few right steps to get a mentoring relationship in place.
To start the New Year off well, here are FIVE TIPS that will get you ready to “get mentored”…and successfully!
Also Read: Does Your Business Mentoring Look Like This?
1. Bone up
Before you approach a potential mentor, learn about them. What makes them strong as a mentor and leader? Who have they mentored well previously? Speak to one of their mentees to learn about their experience. A mentor will be impressed that you have done your due diligence on where they shine.
2. Speak up
Do the “The Big Ask.” When you approach a potential mentor, you might say, “I can’t imagine how busy you must be with all that you do. I’m wondering if you would do me the great favor of having a cup of coffee with me. I’d like to hear about your journey and learn how a successful person like you has travelled this road. You have my word I won’t take more than 45 minutes of your time.” You’ve acknowledged the favor and respected their demanding schedule.
3. Set up
If they agree to meet, arrange the “The MentorView.” What is that? Mentor + Interview = MentorView! Come prepared to articulate a few key points: what specifically you can use help with, suggestion as to frequency of meeting times, your desire to learn from them and grow, ways you might help them. Keep to the time you promised. Use this time to see if it is “the right fit” for both of you.
4. Follow up
After the MentorView, follow up with either a “Thank you for your time” note if you’ve decided not to go forward or arrange your next get together if you will continue on. Good mentors are extremely busy so you can take the load off them by keeping the momentum in your corner.
5. Link up
Come to your next meeting with a list of topics you’d like to discuss over the course of the relationship; offer suggested activities where you might accompany them. Mentors enjoy “WITH-mentees” where they can couple already planned events with their mentee’s coming alongside. The mentor was going to go to the meeting/event/function anyway…why not take you with them so you both can benefit?
For greater exploration into finding a mentor that suits you, please pick up my free E-book, “How to Find a Great Mentor for You…Without Awkward, Aimless or Arbitrary Searching!”
It’s a practical and readily usable resource for finding that great mentor for you.
Happy New Year!