Mentors are an amazing resource. To maximize the benefits of a mentoring relationship, it’s important to come prepared to every conversation. It’s a way to show appreciation for your mentor and their time and commitment to you. Ultimately, both of you should leave every conversation feeling like it was time well spent. All it takes is a few minutes of thoughtful preparation.
Here’s how it works: Before every meeting with your mentor, prepare one question from each of these categories: stories, situations, self-awareness, and skill building.
In my workshops and group coaching programs, I like to share those categories, and ask the participants to come up with a list of questions to ask their mentors. Here are some good ones they’ve come up with recently:
Ask your mentor to tell a story from his or her career. Some questions to consider:
Identify a challenging situation and share it with the mentor. Ask your mentor to act as a sounding board. Some questions to consider:
Ask a question that invites your mentor to contribute to your self-awareness. Some questions to consider:
Identify a skill you currently want to develop, and ask your mentor for advice or resources. Some questions to consider:
Which of these could you ask your mentor? Do you have any to add to this list?
By preparing thoughtfully for each mentoring session, you’ll avoid the awkwardness of feeling like you’re wasting your mentor’s time, and it guarantees that the mentoring relationship can continue to be gratifying for both of you for many years to come.
What are your favorite mentoring questions? Leave your reply in the comments.
This article was first published at BeLeaderly.com