Seven tips for success in a mentoring relationship (Part II of II)
This is the second of a two-part blog series, written by Estefany Marte, mentee with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women.
After my year in the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s online mentoring programme, I think it is extremely important to make the most out of a mentoring relationship. Below are seven tips that have worked incredibly well for me on this great experience and I’m sure they will work wonderfully for you too, whether you are in the programme, considering joining or mentoring elsewhere.
- Write down your main objectives. Yes, it’s time to sit down, reflect and finally choose between all those fantastic ideas you have running around in your head. The truth is that the more focused you can be on four or five objectives for the next three to five years, the easier it will be to work on effective strategies and target those goals with your mentor.
- Stay true to yourself. When it comes to making decisions for your business, try to remember your mentor is there to give you guidelines and support, not to make the decisions for you (it’s tempting, I know). Find the time to be in silence with yourself and listen to your heart, because at the beginning and at the end of the 12 months, it is and will still be your business.
- Discuss your expectations and desired outcomes from the relationship with your mentor. That makes it easier to stay on top of what’s important and not travel around the mysterious forests of the day-to-day problems.
- It’s a two-way street! No matter how wonderful he/she seems with their great business superpowers, your mentor is also a normal person (I was also surprised when I found out), so make sure you build a relationship in which he/she shares things from their life and gains also. Get to know each other as far as you feel comfortable and remember you also have superpowers of your own and your mentor knows it, so share the wisdom and shape things around learning and inspiring each other.
- Keep your mentor posted on important events that contribute to achieving your goals. At times you will even have to translate quotations, supply proposals, and research results and newspaper articles, but it is useful to share important updates so your mentor feels involved.
- Acknowledge your accomplishments and give your mentor constant feedback on how he/she helped you achieved them. This will keep you both motivated and will be a great source of inspiration when things are going not so well.
- Stay focused! (Remember point 1?). It’s very (very) tempting to want your mentor to help you out with every aspect of your business, but try to remember the main reason why you were matched in the beginning, the main challenge you declared in your application and your main goals. This way, you will make the best out of your mentor’s area of expertise and you will be able to tackle those great goals directly.
No matter what issue you are targeting in your mentoring relationship, these seven tips will help you make the most out of it and may take you forward to mentoring paradise. My challenge to you is to find those things that work for you, take note of them and repeat them as much as you need to help your growth.
In the end, always remember how lucky you are to count on your mentor and make sure you take advantage of every single day you have with him/her.
Find out more about our Mentoring Women in Business Programme.