5 Keys to a Successful Mentor-Mentee Relationship
Advice from an Anonymous Mentor! (Sounds cool… we know!)
We at SPOTT are always growing and learning. We’re never afraid to say, ‘We don’t know.’ So when an anonymous mentor approached us a few weeks with some wise words about relationships we took lots of notes.
Here’s what we learned!
- Your👏network👏🏻 is 👏🏼your👏🏽 net👏🏾worth! (Yes, we had to clap that out!)
Networks are a series of professional relationships. Mentors and mentees alike should and could be strengthening each others’ networks. Each person may just hold the key to your next opportunity or job now or later in life. These relationships may also help you gain experience in a field or market you may not know much about. Remember, you should be learning from your network as well teaching it. No one likes the person who shows up to the party empty handed, eats all the food, then leaves. Bring some snacks. At least some PowerMints!
- Think outside the Box! (Yes. We know it’s easier said than done…)
Don’t ever make assumptions about your teacher/student. Learn about them but asking deep questions. You may find something in common, something to connect to that can be used as yet another avenue to help mentor or learn. Doing this challenges yourself to grow, learn and can help strategize for ways to maximize the mentorship experience. If you don’t feel like you have done this yet, don’t worry, you still have time!
- Things take time! (also known as — “Doh Rush It!”)
Any good relationship takes time to grow. Mentoring is not just a teacher-student relationship. In many ways it’s more like a collaboration. Accept that you are two people trying to do this great thing together! Focus on the things that connect you both, explore those and learn from each other.
- Figure out what works! (Communication and Cooperation)
Let’s admit it; schedules can sometimes pose a challenge but remember communication is key. Learn to improvise and try to meet the other person half way if you can. If you can’t meet in person, schedule some time to talk via telephone. If they are always on the go, ping them via any messaging system they may already be using like WhatsApp. Always ask what works and be honest about your availability.
- Don’t be a Stranger!
Even after the formal mentorship ends, your relationship doesn’t have to. Send a check-in email. Share information. Give a quick phone call. Technology has certainly given us the advantage of staying connected even while we continue on our own paths. Mentorships never really end: they just evolve.
That’s it for now. Let us know if these tips were helpful. If you would like us to write about any of these with more depth please let us know at spottconnect at gmail.com.
If you want to read more about this topic check out our last article on How to Pick (or be) a Good Mentor.