The Proactive Mentee: Maximise Your Mentorship Experience

Being a mentee is certainly not a passive activity. It requires developing an openness and willingness to ask for and receive new insights into yourself, and a commitment to taking action to realise and embody these insights. The more able you are to do this, the greater your experiences will be with your mentor, and the better you’ll be able to seek out and work with mentors who can bring out the best in you.

How to Become a Proactive Mentee

1. See Your Mentor as an Integral Part of Your Strategy

A proactive mentee views their mentor as essential to their success strategy. They don’t see the mentor as someone who is just helping them out but as a valued member of their team and part of their success story. This approach encourages the mentee to be open about their goals, obstacles, and opportunities, and how to navigate these with their mentor’s support. In this dynamic, the mentee also takes on a leadership role in the relationship.

2. Reach Out for Help When Needed

Proactive mentees don’t wait for their mentors to initiate meetings. When faced with challenges or while working on strategies that could benefit from their mentor’s guidance, they proactively seek assistance. They trust in the commitment their mentor has made to the relationship. If that commitment wanes due to the mentor’s busy schedule or other reasons, communicate and adjust the nature of the relationship to what works best for both parties.

3. Communicate Clearly and Regularly

Proactive mentees ensure clear and regular communication regarding the availability and commitment of their mentors. They respect their mentor’s time and avoid overburdening them, seeking to clarify what level of involvement works best for the mentor. This could involve setting up a regular check-in schedule, such as every three months, to reassess and confirm the arrangement.

4. Self-Reflect Before Sessions

Before meeting with their mentor, proactive mentees reflect on what they want to discuss. This doesn’t mean they need to have all the answers but having a clear idea of their feelings and current challenges allows for more productive conversations. This preparation helps to focus the discussion on the most relevant and pressing issues.

5. Provide Feedback and Updates

Proactive mentees understand the importance of keeping their mentors informed about their progress. Since mentors invest their time and energy into the relationship, they care about the mentee’s development and success. Providing feedback and updates on what has been learned and implemented keeps the mentor engaged and reinforces the value they are providing.

In Summary

Being a proactive mentee involves seeing your mentor as a key part of your strategy, actively seeking help, communicating clearly, preparing for meetings, and updating your mentor on your progress. By embodying these principles, you can maximise the benefits of your mentorship experience and foster a productive, supportive relationship with your mentor.


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