As we wrap up our February theme of Mentors, I wanted to share some thoughts on how to ask for a mentor and things to consider before agreeing to mentor someone else.
“Will you be my mentor?”
If you start with questions, you’re likely to hear no – or say no if someone asks you. That is such a loaded question that leads to many more questions: How much time does this person expect of me? What do the need from me? What if I give them guidance and it doesn’t get them to where they wanted to be?What if I fail at being a mentor?
A better way to ask someone to be your mentor might be simply by building a relationship with that person so you can ask them questions from time to time. Ask them where they learned how to do XXX? or what resources they were tapping into at your stage of career. During these conversations, rarely talk about yourself. ask about them, listen, and learn.
Keep it casual at first and then if you want something more concrete, come to that person with an outline of your expectations and the time you think they will need to invest. Also because you want this to be a long lasting relationship – remind them of what’s in it for them.
If you are asked to be a mentor and don’t want to do it for whatever reason – no judgement here! Politely decline the request and then offer to share some resources or other connections that may be helpful. Maybe you have written a book or several blog articles about a topic that would be helpful.
If you do decide to mentor someone formally, make sure you both have a clear outline of expected goals, how frequently you will meet, who is responsible for the logistics (when, where, how) of meeting, what happens if somehting changes with the goals/ job/ personal life? The best mentorships emerge when you build relationships with people who invest time and energy in the mentorship.
TAKE ACTION: Mentorship is about building relationships. It’s about surrounding yourself with people who can help you grow and learn. If you are looking for mentors who are your Entrepreneur Peers, consider joining a Peer Advisory Board.
I have a few open spots on my current boards. I would love to be a part of your inner circle!
If you are ready to tap into a curated and facilitated inner circle – schedule a call with me today.