You’ve found a mentor and set up your first meeting with him or her. Now, use these four strategies from [email protected] to help you effectively communicate and build a strong relationship with your mentor.
- Prepare for discussions
Your relationship with your mentor may be informal, but you still need to be ready to guide the conversation. Ask thoughtful questions and provide ideas on how your mentor can help you. Being prepared shows that you’re serious about your goals and demonstrates why having a relationship with you is worth the effort.
- Be respectful
Did you request a 30 minute meeting? Stick to 30 minutes. It shows you are mindful of your mentor’s other commitments. Talk with your mentor about his or her preferred channels of communication. Avoid social media or text messages, unless initiated by your mentor, and discuss how often you should plan to meet. Respect his or her requests.
- Stay engaged
In your meetings, ask your mentor about his or her experiences and challenges. Listen and take notes during your discussion. These activities show your mentor that you value his or her input.
While you want to be respectful of your mentor’s other commitments, don’t let too much time pass in between communications. In between your in-person conversations, share articles or other information you think your mentor might enjoy. Thoughtful communication between meetings shows that you are genuinely interested in the relationship.
- Say “thank you”
Finally, remember to show your gratitude and acknowledge your mentor’s support. Many times, a simple “thank you” is all that’s needed.