Last week we started talking about what you should be doing to get the most out of your mentorship relationship. Today, I’m sharing last 2 things you should ask from your mentor:
1. Making Connections
The next thing that you should look for from a mentor is connections. Your mentor maybe able to open doors to people you couldn’t have opened yourself. They could make that very important recommendation or introduction to these connections
Look at your mentor’s connections on LinkedIn and see if those are people you should be connected with. Check their other social media accounts too to see who they are already networking with.
A recent colleague of mine recently connected with somebody that I really, really want to do business with. I’m going to keep this in mind and when the time is right, I'll be asking them for an introduction.
Most mentors would be happy to make these connections for you, as long as it’s the right time and for the right reasons. Don't ask for these referrals on the first date with your mentor. Build the relationship with your mentor so they really get to know and trust you.
Connections are huge and you NEED to earn that trust. Perhaps your first step could be to ask your mentor about this person and what they’re like. They might even turn around and say, “You know what? Let me introduce you to them right now.”
You will most often need to earn this trust first by showing up to your mentor sessions on time, doing what you say you'll do, sending the agendas in, implementing what you've talked about, having that positive attitude and living according to your values. Then they'll be happy to introduce you to their connections.
2. Asking for Stories
When your mentor shares a strategy or point of view, ask them for a story that relates to the topic. Stories will help the idea or strategy sink in better for you and will really help you to see how to implement what they're talking about. Stories help make the strategy or idea more tangible or real.
A colleague of mine was sharing a point of view and told me a story about a conversation she had with Richard Branson on Necker Island! That helped create a picture in my mind and to really comprehend the point she was making.
Don't be afraid to ask, “Hey, did that actually happen to you?” or “Do you have a story that could explain that?”
Or when you first meet with mentor, ask if they can share some stories! Of course, some stories they can't share based on confidentiality with their clients or their business. You could say, “I’d love to hear stories of how these things have affected you, how they've influenced you, or how you've done certain things.”
Ask for stories to back up the points that they're making. And when you have a great mentor that tells great stories, oh my goodness, those things are going to stick in you!
If you don't already have a mentor, a coach, a consultant, someone that you can go to for advice or support, I suggest you go find one. You could start by browsing my website to see if our values align. If they do, let’s have a conversation about me being your mentor or coach.
No matter who you choose, find a mentor who inspires you and when you get started, show up looking to also inspire them. Have a very clear agenda of questions and topics you need advice on. Accept their strategies and be open to different points of view. Build that trust so they'll open up their Rolodex to you when you need it. And ask them to share their stories with you! Doing these five things will help get the most out of any mentorship in your life.
If you already have a mentor, think about these five things and ask yourself, “Am I really getting the best value from this mentorship opportunity? What do I need to do differently to get more out of it?”
A mentor can help you up-level any or all areas of your life! It is never too late or early to have someone in your life.
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