3 Keys to Building a Mentoring Relationship

In our last post, we discussed the benefits of identifying a mentor. Deciding you need a mentor is the easy part. What comes next, developing a relationship with your mentor, involves a bit of work and some commitment. Here are the three best ways you can build a successful mentoring relationship: 

1. Define the relationship. During the first meeting with your mentor you should discuss how often and where you will meet. You will want to share the goals you hope to achieve by working with a mentor and begin to develop a rapport with one another. Trust and confidentiality are important to a successful mentoring relationship. 

2. Be prepared to ask questions. Your mentor is a resource who is full of experience and knowledge. Get the most of your relationship by being prepared to ask questions that will get you the answers you need to grow. Here are a few suggestions to get you started: 

  • Is this where you thought you would end up?
  • What used to be your biggest weakness?
  • How do you motivate and hold other people accountable?
  • What do you do to live a balanced life?
  • What classes or experiments do you think would be most valuable for me?
  • What motivates you?
  • What was the best advice a mentor gave you?
  • How can I help you?

3. Follow up. Many mentoring relationships end after the first meeting because no one follows up afterward. The best mentoring relationships last for months or years. After your first meeting thank them for their time and be sure to ask when they would be available to meet again. As a mentee your job is to take the next step.

For more questions you should ask your mentor, click here.