How to be a good mentee:
Regardless of the level of expertise of the mentee, it is her or his responsibility to identify the purpose of the mentoring relationship and to drive the agenda.
The mentee should not expect to be a passive recipient of guidance or the mentor's wisdom; they must be active in identifying their needs and working to address these with the mentor.
There are several responsibilities that come with the role of the mentee. These are some suggestions to help outline the progress during the mentorship program:
- Be committed
- Initiate contact
- Remember that your Mentor is a volunteer
- Take responsibility for you own learning.
- Identify your areas of need
- Be reliable and respectful of your Mentor's time (be on time, avoid canceling)
- Give at least 24 hours in advance if you need to reschedule
- Self-motivation- It is up to you what you get from this relationship
- Develop trust through open communication and feedback
- Maintain an open mind, and do not be afraid to be challenged: The only way to improve is to question the status quo. Closing your mind off will hinder any progress you could be making.
- Don't be afraid to disagree.
- You shouldn't feel like you have to take every single piece of advice your mentor gives you without question. If you disagree with something they've said, tell them. It will lead to a discussion with much more value than if you simply nodded your head in agreement.
- Be open to feedback
- You have to be open to being coached and stay receptive to the things your mentor tells you.
- Take appropriate risks by trying new action
- Put the new skills youíve worked on with them to use in your everyday work
- Enjoy the Mentor/Mentee relationship
Checklist before a meeting:
In order to take most advantage of the program, consider preparing yourself before the meetings as well as using the time effectively during the meeting. This is a check list for the mentee to prepare before and after each meeting.
- Before the meeting:
- Come to the meeting with a clear agenda
- Make sure you have a clear understanding of what you want to obtain form the conversation.
- Be concise- what are the most pressing issues you wat to cover?
- Provide with all background information that can be useful for your mentor.
- The meeting:
- Set realistic expectations with your Mentor
- After the meeting:
- Reflect in the discussions
- Do your homework (you must walk away from each meeting with a task)
- Follow up with your mentor
Four questions you can ask your mentor to keep things moving forward
- Situational: Ask for advice on a particular challenge
- Storytelling: Stories help fill in details and emphasize ideas
- Skill building: Improve and develop new skills
- Perception: Help raise your self-awareness
- Your mentor is the best person to ask for feedback on the way youíre perceived. They will be honest with you and provide you with ongoing advice to help you grow and improve and become more self-aware. This is a great question to ask early on in the relationship before they really get to know you. That gives you an idea of how you come across on a first impression. Itís representative of how you come across to colleagues, bosses, and other people in general.
- This is a question that you should frequently revisit, because perception is something that can constantly be worked on and improved. Be open to this feedback and be prepared that itís not going to be easy to hear. Your mentor will help you tune into to any unconscious negative behaviors youíre exhibiting.