Making the most of mentorship
October 9, 2019 | Education
If you haven’t yet been on either side of a mentoring relationship, it could be just the thing to invigorate your business and focus your mind on your goals.
Having a mentor gives you access to a whole new network and brings outside experience to tough problems. And it’s a two-way exchange, mentoring polishes your leadership skills, helps you identify gaps in your knowledge and expands your circle.
How to find a mentor
We understand it can be tricky to find a mentor; lots of people don’t have time, the people who do don’t advertise it, and the ask can sometimes feel a little awkward.
We wanted to make things easy. Download our mentorship app, an online community of potential mentees and mentors. Add a specific goal you need help with and you’ll be paired with someone who’s been there and done that.
Use the code c597f6 to sign up as a mentor.
Or use code 5ff109 to sign up as a mentee.
The person you work with doesn’t have to have a similar personality type as you or even work in the same industry. In fact, it can often be helpful to meet with someone who has a different approach to life.
Make the most out of your first mentorship meeting
- It’s helpful to set an understanding early on that you’ll keep your conversations confidential to create space for open and candid discussion.
- Discuss your objectives. Whether it’s building a skill or working through a tricky project, try to set clear goals for your time together.
- Discuss practicalities, like if and how you’ll keep in touch between meetings and if you’ll plan to meet in person or through video calls.
- Set action points for each of you to cover before the next meeting.
- Discuss a timeline for your mentorship. This will help you keep on track towards your goals and stop the relationship from going stale.
- Set up the dates for your next couple of meetings. The first meeting is a good time to assess the chemistry honestly.
If you don’t think it will work, it’s absolutely fine to politely decline further meetings and continue your search for a mentor/mentee.
How to work towards your mentoring goals
Your goals should be measurable and achievable. Some people find it useful to use the GROW method to structure coaching and mentoring sessions:
As well as keeping notes on your actions for each meeting, mentees might also find it useful to log key learning points or advice from each session. Keep communicating with your counterpart about how you’re finding the sessions and let the other person know if there’s something you think you should be doing more or less of. Finally, always try to have dates in your diary for the next two or three meetings and communicate with your mentor or mentee if you have a change in schedule coming up.
From time to time, mentorships might start to peter out due to a change in circumstance or goals. If this happens, do have an honest conversation about ending the program early to free yourself up to work with someone else.
How to create a great mentor relationship:
- thoughtfully select a mentor
- go into the relationship with specific goals
- understand their mentor is there to offer a fresh perspective on a topic or to ask them to reflect on something they might not have thought about, not to give you must-follow instructions
- give feedback to their mentor and fairly assess the relationship as it develops
- keep revisiting their objectives
- respect their mentor’s time and promptly replies to messages.
How to create a great mentee relationship:
- ask open-ended questions
- find positivity and creativity in their approach to issues brought up by their mentee
- are able to use their experience to challenge assumptions or status quo
- go into the program with a genuine interest in the work of their mentee
- are realistic about how much time and effort they can commit to their mentee and follow through on scheduled meetings
- give feedback to their mentee and fairly assess the relationship as it develops
- share contacts and networking opportunities where appropriate.
How to end a mentoring relationship
The end of your mentoring relationship should be a celebration of what you’ve been able to accomplish together. As you approach your last few meetings, revisit your notes and objectives from the beginning of the process and make sure you’ve covered everything you set out to achieve. It’s also nice to consider if you’ll keep in touch and how.
We love to hear feedback about if and how the app worked for you, and find out what impact it’s had on your business. There’s a feedback form in the learning section of your app. Your feedback will stay with us.
Mentees, as your business grows you might become interested in becoming a mentor yourself. If you’d like to add a mentor account to the Enthuse Foundation Mentorship App, let us know.
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