If you’re lucky enough to have found a Mentor that you click with, it’s important to be mindful of making the relationship mutually beneficial. If a Mentor has offered their time to help you grow professionally, or personally, treat that time as a gift. Get the most out of them so they can see you getting the most out of yourself. To do this, it’s important to establish a good working relationship. Here are some tips on how you can do this.
Whether you’ve actively sought out a Mentor or have been appointed one through a professional development program, you need to define how you are going to utilise them. The goals of the relationship should be agreed upon by the Mentor and Mentee in the beginning. Goals could include the provision of guidance through a specific project where the Mentor has previous experience, filling certain gaps in the professional skillset of the Mentee, discussing networks and corporate politics or many other teaching methods.
The terms of the relationship should also be made clear. Availability of the Mentor and Mentee to meet and how often the Mentor is willing to be called upon (what time of day, what is their preferred communication method etc). Every second that you get with your mentor counts, so when you have scheduled a meeting it is wise to ensure you are making the most of your time with them by setting an agenda and talking points.
Setting goals, expectations and agendas should not equate to rigidity. Mentors are (generally) unpaid and imparting their professional advice in order to grow the business nous of the Mentee and/or to see their mutual sectors grow. As such, there may be times where meeting the Mentee needs to be rescheduled or altered around their own business and personal commitments. Flexibility is key. Can the time, date or length of the meeting be changed? Is a teleconference appropriate instead? Can immediate queries be addressed via email? Be respectful in requesting a Mentor’s time and energy, but also recognise if the Mentor is unable (or unwilling) to give you the type of support and guidance that was promised when your goals were initially set out.
Meet/communicate regularly (as agreed)
Consistency is important but you do not want to become a burden. This is not to say that you shouldn’t contact your Mentor if there is something you require of them urgently, but the communication needs to remain within the agreed terms. Your Mentor may be too busy to initiate meet ups, so reach out to them in a courteous manner. Once the relationship has been established, keep the momentum going by staying in touch at the same time each week for example. Mentees should also remember the benefit of giving feedback to their Mentor. If your Mentor feels they are making a difference in your life, it will be beneficial to the relationship moving forward.
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” –Henry Ford
Adelaide Biodesign connects its participants with business and MedTech industry leaders who have proven invaluable to the success of our teams. For more information, please contact Course Coordinator, Amanda Lee – firstname.lastname@example.org or go to biodesignaustralia.com/adelaide -biodesign
Amanda Lee is the Course Coordinator for Adelaide Biodesign, supported by Accelerating Australia. She is also the Engagement Manager for Adelaide Enterprise at the University of Adelaide, is a mother of 2, Harry Potter tragic and punk rock enthusiast.