5 Things you should know about mentors

Mentorship is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The mentor may be older or younger than the person being mentored, but she or he must have a certain area of expertise.

Starting a mentorship program can be one of the most thrilling and daunting experiences ever as you get first hand assistance regarding decisions to make. For someone who is trying to break into an industry, this would provide the perfect opportunity to familiarise themselves with the ins and outs of that specific industry.

Came across the below points that are vital regarding mentors and mentees:

Mentors seldom have time:

You need to be patient with your mentor. You may have agreed on certain sessions per week, monthly; but sometimes life does get in the way. Remember that they still have business / life obligations that they need to fulfil. However; this doesn’t mean that you should be docile and wait for them to contact you – do find out ahead of the session if they’d still be able to meet BUT don’t push; it might just turn them off (for a lack of a  better word)

Meet them halfway:

Don’t make it a one-way stream where they are just pouring out information and you are only receiving it. Do your researches, always pitch up prepared. Narrate in detail a “funky” trend that you have noted in the area of your interest (I pray that this is the same area you are receiving mentoring from) and guess what; your mentor will use that as an indication of the direction the mentoring needs to take and then help build you from that angle.

Mentorship can be draining:

Do yourself a favour and how interest in the program and make use of the opportunity given. Make it as lively as possible, don’t make it like a class room out of a class room – heck; classrooms are lively! The last thing you need is boring the mentor to death either by being passive or absent minded during the session.

Ask Questions:

The best way to learn is to ask as many questions as possible. Remember you are there to learn so it is for your own benefit that you ask. Your mentor will not know what kind of help you need unless you indicate that.

Know Yourself:

Mentees turn to idolize and mimic their mentors (to a certain degree) – though recommended as the best way to learn, it should be applied with caution. It would be terrifying if not ultimately shocking for a mentor to see their mentee not growing but transformed into their “mini-me”. Careful not to lose your identity while trying to upgrade yourself. Stay focus – the goal is to learn the business traits and blend them into your personality not DUPLICATE!

Last but not least – Have Fun!