We like the idea of someone taking us under our wing. But how do we establish that? Here is how to start a mentor relationship starting with what not to do.
Whether you are a novice or expert in your chosen area of discipline, seeking out mentors is always a good idea. Now it’s just a matter of hitting it off right.
In this episode
How to Start a Mentor Relationship
If I were to outline how to start a mentor relationship in 4 steps this is what they would be:
1) Avoid saying “mentor relationship” and “mentor”
Calling someone your “mentor” unless the person is your boss or business partner, can get messy. It can quickly repel the person you are seeking advice from. The reason is that it is far too much pressure for one person to have. They almost feel responsible for your success. This is not a responsibility you want to put on anyone, especially when you are trying to establish this type of relationship.
2) Seek out multiple mentors
Diversity is key here. If you can have multiple advisers and counselors to your success, then do it. Diversifying the advice and wise counsel that comes into your life is smart. As the wise saying goes, “Blessed is the man with many advisers.” This will mitigate the risk of bad advice.
3) Look for qualities, skills, talents, and experience you want to have
A mentor relationship should be established based on the person you want to become. Find someone that is further along than you. Your relationship will be about learning (for you) and bringing meaning (for them). Tell them that you admire these qualities about them. This will start the mentor relationship off on the right foot.
4) Close the loop by taking advice and reporting back
There is nothing more demoralizing to an adviser than giving advice that nobody ever follows. On the other side of that coin, when someone gives you advice, and you are able to report the results, you enrich the lives of that person. You begin to create significance and meaning in their life in such a way that brings happiness and fulfillment. This is the most powerful part of the nurturing process of a mentor relationship. Do this often. The more you are able to do this, the stronger the relationship will become.
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Samuel Hatton is a multi-talented media creator and an encourager. His mission is to encourage others in who they truly are so that they can have greater capacity to live out their destiny. He does this by producing inspiring content as well as coaching people to take courageous action toward their passions and goals.
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