How To Get The Most Out Of Your Mentorship
What does mentorship look like? The mentor/mentee relationship is a special bond between two or more people to help coach and advise on professional and personal goals. A mentor is not someone who will for the work for you, but someone who will coach, encourage, and offer invaluable wisdom while you do the work needed to accomplish your goals. After you’ve found the perfect mentor, here’s how to get the most out of your mentorship.
Create Your Plan
It is important to make it easy for someone to work with and help you. The first thing you want to do is to create your development plan (check out the guide above to build this.) Once your plan is complete and you are clear on what your goals are, then you can begin to put your list together for potential mentors. Do your research and interview them before you make your final decision.
Make the Ask
Know what it is you want from mentorship and be specific when you make your ask. It is your responsibility to initiate the relationships and negotiate the arrangement. Set up a meeting. It can even be over the phone or in person and outline what you hope to discuss and how long your meeting will take. After all, they’re giving you their time. Respect it.
Arrive at your meeting clear on what your goals are and how your mentor can help you achieve them. Do you want to shadow them, work with them in an advisory capacity, have access to their network? Don’t be shy; think big here. The more specific you can be, the easier you make it for your mentor.
Think through how long will the partnership will last. Do you want a mentor for months or years? It’s important to have a timeline, milestones, and benchmarks. Think in terms of 3-6 months and 1-2 years. Be clear on your needs but also be considerate of your mentor’s time constraints and what makes sense for both of you.
Next, think through when and where will you meet. Will you meet in person or over video chat? Will you meet once a week, once a month, or quarterly? How long will you meet for: 30 minutes, 1 hour, 90 minutes? Do whatever works best for you and your mentor. The time you meet is extremely important and must take precedence over everything else. This means you need to book yourself out on your schedule when you have plans to meet with your mentor. Don’t cancel unless it is an absolute emergency and keep it drama free. Stay focused on the reason you are meeting.
You also want to make sure you discuss confidentiality. Are your meetings confidential? If you are going to open your own salon, spa, or shop you may want to keep it confidential. Again, it’s your call. The important thing is to communicate with your mentor and make sure you both are on the same page when it comes to confidentiality.
Finally, set expectations. Unmanaged expectations are the crux of many failed relationships. To get the most out of your mentor/mentee relationship, make sure you both are clear on the expectations surrounding the purpose of the partnership and what will take place during your meetings. It is always a good idea to create an agenda with a list of topics or actions you want to cover during your time together, prior to your meeting with your mentor.
Perfecting your craft is something that must be passed down from person to person, hand-to-hand. Mentorship is quite possibly one of the most important things you can do as beauty and wellness professional. It allows you to bypass all the failures one can expect when learning by trial and error and learn through the successes and failures of a mentor. Make sure that you get the most of your mentorship and use your learnings to power your career.