You’ve seen my post on how to find a mentor, but we have to remember it’s a two-way street. What does it take to be a good mentee?
- Be proactive. Have an agenda or a list of objectives in advance of every meeting of what you hope to get out of it. It shows respect for your mentor’s time and establishes your expectations.
- Remember, it takes two. Both parties in this mentor/mentee relationship learn something from such an experience, so be mindful of that. Be on the lookout for articles or other information your mentor might find interesting. It helps facilitate trust and shows your effort.
- Be appreciative. Say thank you or send a note to convey your appreciation. Also, be flexible and willing to meet when is convenient for your mentor. It’s a sign of respect and your appreciation.
- Ask meaningful questions. Don’t just ask about what specialty you should go into. Present options and get help on how to think about the options.
- Listening is key. All of the best questions are useless unless you listen and process the information so that it’s helpful to you. Listen for central ideas and how it applies to you.
- Build trust. Building trust can take time, but this is very important in any relationship. Show your respect and gratitude for this person. Be punctual. Those are small ways to help establish trust.
If I were to summarize any successful mentor/mentee relationship, I truly think it comes down to respect, responsiveness, and accountability. And remember to always be yourself!