Mentoring is an incredible way to advance yourself personally and professionally. And, I don’t just mean for the mentee. Here are a couple of big ideas for you to get the most out of your mentor and the mentor/mentee relationship.

Pick the right mentor. Depending on where you are in your life, your career, etc, find a mentor that you believe has the right experience and style to help you through whatever life phase you’re in. How do you pick the right mentor? Well, if you’re at point “A” in your life and you want to get to point “B”, find someone who is at point “B” or who previously made the journey. Also consider style, values, and other things.

Be Prepared. Don’t ask for mentor-ship or meet with your mentor without doing your homework first. What I mean by that is know specifically what you need help with, what resources you’ve already researched and what your current challenges are in solving the problem. Also, always a good idea to pre-send this information to your mentor before you meet with him/her so they can think about it and formulate an answer.

Be Accountable. Simple, if you say you’ll do it, do it. If you say you’ll be there at 11, be there at 10:55. Usually mentors are thrilled to help people but that excitement can wane if the mentee consistently fails to deliver on basic promises.

Be Humble and Open. We all need help. ALL of us. Since you are awesome enough to know this and participate in this process, try to leave egos at the door and be open to the whole experience. This goes for both sides as well for you mentors out there!!

Take Notes. If you are a mentee, take notes! What I find is that the mentees that take notes often times refer back to them or even share them with their friends. And, often times these meetings are dense with content, ideas, websites to check out, books to read, etc. You will never remember it all! Write it down.

Give it Back, Pay it Forward. If you can and where it is relevant, try to give something back to your mentor. This doesn’t have to be anything that costs money, it could simply be a book referral that you think would be a wonderful book to add to the personal library. It could be a good article on a subject that you and your mentor discussed at one point. Get in the game where you can. Also, pay it forward! Make sure when you get to the point you can, help others! This is the best way to say thanks to your mentor in my opinion.

Hope this helps!

Chris Holbrook

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