I recently asked my boss if she’d be more than my boss – if she’d also mentor me. She was enthusiastic about it and already has given me very helpful feedback. She also passed on an article from the Wall Street Journal that gave 8 tips for setting up a network of mentors. She said it made her think of me. : D
Here are the 8 tips (so true!):
- Take the initiative to strike up and maintain relationships with mentors. Talk first, and often! Ask for information, help, feedback, and advice.
- Recognize and respond to even subtle expressions of interest from would-be mentors. Read between the lines. Look for potential to take a relationship deeper.
- Reach beyond immediate peers and bosses to others in the community and environment.
- Make sure you have frequent contact with each of the mentors. Be intentional about getting together regularly and in a venue where you can talk privately and informally.
- Prepare for meetings with your mentors and let them know how their advice has helped you. Keep note of challenges you want to discuss, and research the topic thoroughly so you can give your mentor several approaches to review. Then followup with mentors after a discussion.
- Lend your mentors a hand when you can on projects they’re handling. Make the relationship mutual. Offer what you can to help them out.
- Be open with mentors about the challenges you’re facing.
- Do your best to be positive and personable. Ask for help, be easy to get along with, empathize with others, listen to people, and build rapport.