Getting the Most Out of a Mentor Relationship

Discover how to maximize your mentor relationship and take your career to the next level. Learn actionable tips and insights in this informative blog.

"The best mentor is someone whose footsteps you can follow into your own future." - Unknown

You signed up for a Mentoring Program. You’ve filled out all the paperwork and made the commitment to learn from someone else. This can be an invaluable experience. Many of the most successful people throughout history attribute their success to a relationship with a mentor. Don’t waste the opportunity.

Here are some actionable tips you can take to get the most out of a Mentor Relationship.

Define your Goals Upfront

Your Mentor has a goal for you. The organization you are part of has a goal for the Mentoring Program. It is also important for you to have defined goals for the mentoring process.

Before your first meeting, put your goals down on paper. When you have your first mentoring session, go over these goals with your mentor. Are there certain skills you want to attain? What are your career aspirations? Are there weaknesses you need help strengthening?

Being open and clear with your mentor from the start enables them to help you achieve these goals. They might also have input on revising your goals. Be open to have a dialogue about it.

Be Prepared for Each Session

Coming unprepared is not only bad manners, but its unprofessional and a big time waster. Treat your mentoring sessions as if they are a vital step in your growth as a person. Take them seriously by coming prepared.

Before each session, take the time to research and gather information relative to your goals. Write down specific questions and topics you want to discuss. Being prepared shows your mentor that you value their time and are serious about learning from them.

Preparation also puts you in the driver seat on where the Mentoring will take you. If you leave it all up to the Mentoring Program Admin and your Mentor, vital areas of interest may never even be brought up. You can take charge and directly ask for guidance and bring up the topics you want to explore.

Isolate Weaknesses and Talk About Them

"The only way to avoid being average is to embrace your weaknesses and learn from them." - Tim Fargo

No one is perfect. You can always get better. The only way to get better is to isolate areas that need improvement and take action to improve them.

Do some journaling. Look in the mirror. Ask yourself some hard questions. It can be freeing to write down what your weaknesses are in life and professionally.

Going over these weaknesses with your Mentor can seem daunting. They are private! You don’t have to share intimate details, but you might be surprised at the advice that you get. Who knows...bringing up a weakness in a session could lead to advice that changes the course of your life. You won’t know unless you try.

Follow Through On Your Commitments

Integrity is the hallmark of good character. If you say you will do something and you do it, people will trust and admire you. If you fail to deliver the opposite will happen.

When you make an agreement with your mentor, keep it. If you agree to complete a task, research something, take a certain action by a specific date make sure you do it. Always try to over deliver.

This not only builds a good relationship with your mentor, it builds good habits in life.

Be an Active Listener

Don’t go into a Mentoring Program hoping your Mentor will wave a magic wand over your head and all your career goals will materialize. You have to be active. You also can’t go in talk about yourself the whole time. They key is to maintain the correct balance of talking and then listening to your mentor.

Pay close attention to what your Mentor says. If you don’t understand clarify. You can always take notes if that helps you to remember important points.

A mentor relationship can be a valuable and enriching experience for both parties, but it takes effort and dedication from both sides to make it a success. By setting clear goals, preparing for each session, being open about weaknesses, following through on commitments, and being a good listener, mentees can get the most out of the experience and reap the benefits of having a mentor.

Mentor Resources can help any company or government agency to leverage technology to create tailored career development programs that are cost-effective. Our mentoring software - Wisdom Share is a cloud-based program that is simple and comes with guided workflows. Included are tools for administrators to attract, enroll, connect, and guide participants. We also provide analytics to ensure you can monitor your employee development program and easily see ROI metrics.

Reach out to us today for a Free Demonstration of our software.


Similar posts

Get notified on new mentoring resources & insights

Be the first to know about news, articles, learning resources and new feature updates of Wisdom Share to help you build or refine your mentoring program with the tools and knowledge of today’s industry.