How to Make the Most Out of a Mentoring Relationship

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Business leaders will constantly need to make tough decisions. Sometimes they are required to do it on a daily basis. And given the fact that being an entrepreneur is perceived as one of the most stressful jobs, this obligation can be taxing.

And if you consider the long-term effects of stress on you and your body, you’ll see that they don’t really paint a pretty picture. Despite the fact that ultimately you are responsible for both your health and the prosperity of your company, consulting a mentor for some needed advice is always a great hack for relief.

You probably already know the concept of mentoring: Create a relationship with a person who has walked down the path you are on and is more than willing to offer his or her time, experience or even social capital to help you when needed.

Here are three great tips that could help you make the most out of your mentoring relationship.

1. Find out the person you want to become.  You cannot reach your destination without knowing the place you need to start the journey, so first and foremost, before building a mentoring relationship, you need to search within and see what defines you as a person and what you want to become. In order to do so, you need to identify both your personal and your professional goals and to create a viable plan that will help you reach them.

Imagine where you want to be in the next 10 years, 20 years, etc. When doing this exercise you need to be honest with yourself, what you are feeling and what you might be sensing. I believe that this is the only way you are able to set your objectives in an accurate manner and to determine how a mentor could assist you further.

2. The choosing process shouldn’t be rushed. Make sure you choose wisely. After establishing the personal roadmap you need to start identifying the person who’s going to serve you best as a mentor. And before you try gathering the courage to ask that person, you need to carefully consider whether he or she is the right person for you.

Productive and fulfilling mentoring relationships are usually build by individuals who are 100% committed to the relationship while also remembering that each discussion is actually a two-way process of learning.

Another important trait a mentor should possess is dedication. He or she needs to invest his or her precious time and effort. The mentee will also have several important responsibilities. You should always try your best to make the sessions intellectually stimulating for your mentor. You need to show that you put in just as much effort and time as he or she does. Don’t take your mentor for granted!

3. Set several expectations. Having a mentor does not mean you are the proud owner of a silver bullet. He or she cannot and will not be able to instantly deliver the magic knowledge you want and need to achieve success.

When you start a relationship with a mentor you need to set several expectations and acknowledge that the best advice might actually take some time to set in and exert an impact on your professional life.

Even after you’ve become a business owner, you don’t need to make tough decisions all alone. In some cases mentors are key assets to some of the most respected and recognized business leaders of our time. Choosing the best person to help you reach your goals faster, guide you and even help you with the success of your company is certainly a tough process but, with a little bit of knowledge and luck, you will be able to find the best mentor out there for you.

Good luck!

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