Need a mentor?

This month we’ve focused on supporting business growth.

If you’ve taken part by completing the growth planning exercises, you’ve now mapped out the next 12 months for yourself in your role or business.

And as you look over your TO-DO list…

… Of all the things you need to action…

… To get you to where you want to be…

Maybe you have a few questions lingering.

Quiet whispers in the back of your mind:

Can I really pull this off?

Do I have what it takes?

Is it too much for me?

See, it’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs and business owners to face the demon of self-doubt, especially when walking a road untravelled.

This is where a Mentor steps in.

To summarise my own personal experience of being Mentored, the Mentors who have truly made a difference for me have:

  • Known what I stand for
  • Called me on all of my crap (keeping me on track)
  • Listened, but not let me get away with my excuses!
  • Gave opinions, not just options
  • Filled my cup with clarity and motivation
  • Provided examples of things I wanted or aspired to be like
  • Helped make great introductions and referrals
  • And made time for me when I needed them most

So in the spirit of helpful, uplifting and inspiring relationships, here’s my short guide to successful Mentoring:

What can a Mentor do for me?

The role of a Mentor can be multi-faceted. It may be formal or informal. And it might change or evolve as the needs of the Mentee change. Mentors are normally a trusted role model who may provide a voice of reason and provide support and guidance for navigating through decisions that will ultimately impact the road you may take.

Generally Mentors will: 

  • Assist Mentees develop careers that reflect their skills, potential, passion and goals
  • Offer wisdom, knowledge, experience, constructive criticism, connections and resources
  • Focus on the Mentee’s overall career direction rather than on day-to-day concerns
  • Set an example for the level of professional conduct and success their Mentee hopes to achieve

How should I pick a Mentor?

A Mentor relationship does not need to be forever, however it is generally someone who you have known for a while that you may look up and/or has achieved something that you want (in a way that you like).

A Mentor can also be someone who you don’t know, however normally the recommendation comes from someone you trust and know (or there’s evidence of what they have achieved and how they have achieved it)

What to look for in a Mentor?

A Mentor should be someone who:

1. Has a good track record and credibility 
Preferably in the field of work you are in or planning to be in.

2. Has the time
If you find that Mentor keeps cancelling or doesn’t pick up your call, perhaps they maybe the wrong choice.

3. Has a genuine interest 
In you, your career and your advancement. And not necessarily someone who just wants to talk about themselves.

4. Has a network of influencers
Is able to pick up the phone and connect you with a possible learning opportunities, or will make connections for people you should meet and events to attend.

5. Understands you 
They have a strong understanding of your organisation, or at least your industry and your future potential.

How do I engage a Mentor?

There may be formal mentor programs and professional mentors that you can engage. Or alternatively, you may know someone in your network who you may approach to be a Mentor.

The closer they are in your network, generally the easier it is to approach and ask if they would consider being a Mentor for you.

Remember, if you use as a general guide $250 per hour, you’re asking someone to provide advice and support of potentially between $1,000-$10,000 per year.

So where possible, think about what you may be able to do for them, in return, as a thank you.

How do I structure my meetings?

Here are 4 things you should never forget when setting up your mentoring meetings:

1. Prior to your first meeting 
Google yourself. Seriously. Your Mentor will probably do that to see what your profiles say about you. Then, review your Mentor’s profiles to learn more about them.

2. In the first meeting

  • Identify what you hope to get out of the relationship
  • Together decide WhenWhere and How you want the mentoring process to occur:
    • How frequently and for how long do you want to meet?
    • Do you want to meet in person or over the phone?
    • How will they guide you (I.E. setting tasks and expecting outcomes, or less formal by sharing approaches through conversation?)
  • Provide rough agenda of key areas you would like to cover prior to your next meeting
  • If you don’t know your Mentor well, provide an overview of yourself covering:
    • Goals, strengths, weaknesses and distractions
    • Ideas
    • What you want to learn from them

3. After the first session
Set up calendar appointments to meet in advance (at least the next 2 sessions)

LAST CHANCE: BespokeHR Business Health Check

Free worksheets to Review 2015 and Plan 2016

To celebrate the New Year, I’ve created this free set of worksheets to guide you through reviewing 2015 and aiming your sights for 2016.

Assess your performance and results from 2015 in the areas of Personal Goals, Business Goals, Your Team, KPIs and Compliance. The answers to these questions will help you develop your people plan and set up 2016 for success:


Any questions?

If you have questions on this topic or any others, feel free to reach me by email or set up a free one-on-one consultation session, or drop me a comment below.

Thanks for sharing!