1. Be open and honest with your mentor about your challenges on the job, weaknesses in your leadership, and issues you need to address. Your willingness to be vulnerable demonstrates your commitment to mentoring and strengthens your relationship with your mentor.
2. Prepare an agenda or points for discussion and send them to your mentor in advance of your meetings. Outlining topics facilitates self-reflection and helps crystalize your thinking. During the meeting, an agenda keeps you focused and helps you use your time more efficiently. Your mentor will appreciate your preparedness and the serious way in which you approach the engagement.
3. Create a written mentoring agreement. It lays the groundwork for the relationship to move forward. It also provides a benchmark to measure progress and ensures that you stay on track.
4. Identify stretch goals that will truly impact your success, and push yourself to produce discernible results. Your mentor will continue to invest time in the relationship when there is tangible evidence that their efforts are making a difference. Remember that an effective mentoring relationship shouldn’t be too comfortable or complacent. .
5. Take charge of your relationship. While a strong mentor can help you be successful, the responsibility for identifying goals, developing an action plan and staying focused on your learning lies with you. You are in the driver’s seat!