Like all relationships, both sides have responsibilities. It’s important to remember that the mentor doesn’t do all the work – you have to put in your own level of effort and time too. Your mentor takes an active role in guiding and helping you, but you also have to let them know about what you want to learn, your challenges, your hopes, and more.
What To Expect From Your Mentor
Let’s talk about what a mentor actually does. A mentor will:
- Offer encouragement and ongoing support
- Listen to things that are worrying you and give constructive, unbiased support
- Share stories and examples of their own failures and victories
- Provide honest feedback and suggestions
- Act as a sounding board for ideas and dreams
- Help with making decisions by offering alternative views based on experience
- Introduce you to contacts to further your personal and business development
So, that’s what a mentor does. Now, let’s take a look at what a mentor does not do. Your mentor will not:
- Be your own private counselor or therapist
- Give you specific business advice, like tax or legal help
- Provide a free training course
- Be responsible for the success of your business, schoolwork, etc.
- Be expected to support you financially
What is Your Role in the Relationship?
Recently, we’ve talked a lot about mentors and how valuable they are. In this type of relationship, you have a role to play as well. So, what is expected from you as a mentee?
A mentee is expected to:
- Be organized and proactive about asking for advice and sharing needs
- Come prepared to meetings and arrive on time
- Follow up with assignments or tasks related to the mentorship
- Discuss how the mentor can challenge him or her to grow and develop strengths
- Take constructive criticism in the spirit in which it is given
- Demonstrate listening skills
Think of mentorships as a friendship. Mentors should genuinely care about how to help you reach your goals or be successful. In turn, your role as a mentee means you make an effort to appreciate the time and care your mentor gives to you.
What are some other responsibilities a mentee has to his or her mentor? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.