Guidelines for Mentoring Relationships

Guidelines for Mentoring Relationships

When you find someone who can personally mentor you, use these guidelines to help develop a positive mentoring relationship with that person.

* Ask the right questions.: Give thought to questions you will ask before you meet with your mentor. Make them strategic for your own growth.

* Clarify your level of expectations: Generally, the goal of mentoring is improvement, not perfection. Perhaps only a few people can be truly excellent – but all of us can become better.

* Accept a subordinate, learning position: Don’t let ego get in the way of learning. Trying to impress the mentor with you knowledge or ability will set up a mental barrier between you. It will prevent you from receiving what he is giving.

* Respect the mentor but don’t idolize him: Respect allows us to accept what the mentor is teaching. But making the mentor an idol removes the ability to be objective and critical – faculties we need for adapting a mentor’s knowledge and experiences to ourselves.

* Immediately put into effect what you are learning.: In the best mentoring relationships, what is learned comes quickly into focus. Learn, practice and assimilate.

* Be disciplined in relating to the mentor: Arrange for ample and consistent time, select the subject matter in advance and do your homework to make the sessions profitable.

* Reward your mentor with your own progress: If you show appreciation but make no progress, the mentor experiences failure. Your progress is his highest reward. Strive for growth, then communicate your progress.

* Don’t threaten to give up. Let you mentor know you have made a decision for progress and that you are a persistent person – a determined winner. Then he will know he is not wasting his time.

There is no substitute for your own personal growth. If you are not receiving and growing, you will not be able to give to the people you nurture and develop.

The following was taken from “Developing The Leaders Around You” by John C. Maxwell.