Top Tips for Being a Great Mentee

The benefits of mentorship are countless, especially when you’re the mentee.  Having access to the skills, knowledge, and experience of someone willing to guide you to success can put you on the right path to achieving a desired personal or professional goal.
Although mentoring is a mutually beneficial relationship in which both parties are willing and engaged, there are certain things that you, as the mentee, should do and be aware of to have a successful and functional relationship.
Here are our top tips to being a great mentee.
1.       Make time to arrange with your mentor.
Although both parties benefit from mentorship, the mentor is really doing you, the mentee, a service.  They are putting in time and effort to help you reach your personal or professional goals.  Keep up to date with your mentor’s diary and work around their calendar when scheduling meetings.  Make sure you do book in time rather than unexpectedly calling, and if you agree on a meeting time and place, do your best to keep that appointment.
2.       Keep an open mind.
We all know how difficult it can be to take advice from others, and no one enjoys being told that they may be wrong.  But being a great mentee means putting aside your pride and recognising and respecting the thoughts of someone who’s genuinely trying to help you.  That said, it’s okay to challenge your mentor (and you should) as long as it’s not out of retaliation for hard feelings!
3.       Avoid chit-chat.
Meeting with your mentor is not an excuse to catch up on all the gossip!  Use your time with your mentor wisely and know what you want to talk about prior to your meeting.  In addition, don’t spend all the time with your mentor whining about your problems.  Focus on what you want to achieve and do your best to stay on track.
4.       Stay committed.
Mentoring is an ongoing process.  Even if you’ve achieved a goal, it’s important to maintain the relationship and keep your mentor in the loop!  They have invested time into your goals and you should let them know that their efforts have cultivated into something great.  If you’ve agreed to actions after your mentorship meeting, be sure to follow up and walk the talk!
5.       Be thankful.
Remember to thank your mentor for the time and effort they’ve put into you.  Whether you bring them coffee, write them a nice letter, or even give them a quick call to say ‘thank you’, your mentor will appreciate the thought.  Show interest in them and their life and even offer a sympathetic ear if they need one.  Everyone has different experiences and areas of expertise, regardless of age/seniority!
Being a great mentee isn’t all that hard when you keep these tips in mind!  One day your role might change and you may be the mentor– make sure you set a good example for the future!
Are you interested in being a mentor or being mentored?  This October myHRcareers will launch it’s first mentorship programme.  Find out first hand the benefits of mentorship by registering your interest here.
As always, it is our fondest hope that all our members will join this programme and reap the personal and professional development rewards that mentorship can bring!