12 ways to have a great relationship with your mentor
Your ability to choose your mentors, in written form, on audio and video, and live at seminars, or even better, in person, can be the most important thing you do with your life. Here’s some advice on how to build better and more successful mentor-mentee relationships.
Set clear goals for yourself in every area of your life. You must know exactly what it is you want to accomplish before you start thinking of the type of people who can help you to accomplish it.
Determine the things you have to do to achieve your goals, the obstacles you will have to overcome, and roadblocks you will have to go through.
Identify the areas of knowledge, skill and expertise you will have to acquire in order to overcome the obstacles between yourself and your goals. You can’t seek out mentors unless you know what sort of mentor relationship you require.
Look around you and select the most successful people in the areas where you will need the most help.
Join the clubs, organizations and business associations that these kinds of people belong to. You can find out this information if you ask.
Once you have joined or gotten involved in the type of organizations where the type of people who you want as mentors attend, volunteer for responsibilities and become actively involved in their activities. This will bring you to the attention of the kind of people that you want to meet faster than anything else.
Work, study and practice continually to get better and better at what you do. The very best mentors are only interested in helping you if they feel that it is going to be of value. There is nothing that will attract people to you faster than by your developing a reputation for being an up and coming person in your field.
When you find a potential mentor, don’t tackle the person or make a nuisance of yourself. Instead, ask for ten minutes of his or her time, in person, in private, to ask for his or her advice. Invite the person for a cup of coffee. Nothing more. Remember, that most mentors are also people who are the very busiest in their own lives and they are very sensitive to someone trying to take up a lot of their time. It’s not personal.
When you do meet with a person, tell him or her clearly that you are very eager to be more successful in your field, and you would very much appreciate a little guidance and advice from him that would help you to move ahead. Ask for a specific answer to a question, or a specific book or audio tape recommendation, or a specific idea that he or she feels has been helpful to him or her in the past.
After the initial meeting, send a thank you note to the person and express your gratitude and appreciation for taking their time to give you the guidance. Mention that you hope that you can call them again if you have another question.
Each month, drop your mentor a short note telling him or her about your progress and about what you are doing. If he or she has recommended a book or an audio tape program, be sure that you get it and read it or listen to it. If he or she has recommended that you take a particular course, be sure that you sign up for the course and begin taking it. Report this back to him or her. There is nothing that makes a potential mentor more open to helping you than your making it clear that the help is doing some good.
Arrange to meet with your mentor again, perhaps on a monthly basis, or even more often if you work closely together.
Over the course of your life and career, you will have sequential mentor-mentee relationships. As you grow and develop, you will, hand over hand, move on to mentors who can give you more, different and better advice for where you are now.
Finally, be willing to be a mentor to others who are younger and less experienced than you. The more open you are to helping others up the ladder of success, the more open others will be to helping you. In the finally analysis, the mentors you chose should be people that you respect, admire and want to be like. The advice that you take should be both guidance with regard to your character and personality and specific ideas on how you can do your job better and faster. Remember, you can’t figure it all out for yourself. You have to have the help of others. You have to find men and women who will guide you and advise you on the road of life, or you will take a long, long time getting anywhere.
The most wonderful thing about the mentor-mentee relationship, and all its possibilities, is that successful people are very open to helping other people who want to be successful. The key word is “Ask!” Don’t be afraid to ask people for their input and advice. Ask them for their guidance and ideas. Ask them for their opinions. If you can’t ask them personally, read their books and articles, listen to their audio tapes and attend their seminars. The very fastest way for you to succeed is by piggy-backing on the good advice and counsel of men and women who have spent years learning how to succeed ahead of you. When you do this on a regular and systematic basis, you will open up doors of opportunity and possibilities for you that today you cannot even imagine. Your future will become unlimited.
*What did you learn? Leave me a comment!
About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.