Corporate Mentoring: 3 Easy Ways for Mentees to Get the Most Out of a Mentor

Do you have a workplace mentor? Corporate mentoring programs are a unique way to form mutually beneficial working relationships between co-workers. However, not all mentees understand how to make the most of their mentoring sessions. Let’s discover 3 easy ways to get the best out of your corporate mentor.

Ask the Right Questions

Although approaching a mentor with questions can seem daunting, it is important to come to a mentoring session prepared with guiding questions based on what you want to accomplish. Questions allow you to gain deeper insights into company culture, and even develop innovative solutions to your problems. Above all, asking questions is one of the simplest, most effective learning methods to stimulate discussion, provoke thoughts, inform others, and inspire ideas. It is no secret that mentoring is helping America’s top companies grow, and progress can be enhanced by engaging fully with sessions as much as possible.

During mentoring sessions, mentees can start by asking open questions beginning with ‘why’, before moving to closed questions to take the conversation in a particular direction. Try to remember the distinction between open and closed questions. For instance, closed-ended questions are those which can be answered by a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’, whereas open-ended questions require more thought than a one-word answer. Avoid the temptation to dive in with opinions, responses, conclusions or proposals, and instead aim to ask questions to deepen your comprehension of any workplace issues before committing to any decisions.

Listen Carefully

Mentoring programs can be an incredibly exciting prospect. Essentially, you are being provided with an experienced individual who can help you to learn something new that will enable you to progress to the next stage of your career. For this reason, it is essential to remember that you must put you own proclivities and ego temporarily to one side. Honest feedback can help you to pinpoint areas of improvement and fill any gaps in your knowledge, so do not be disheartened by any constructive criticism.

Listen to what is being said actively. This involves asking for help if you need it and a willingness to embrace the truth, cultivating an atmosphere of trust. Effective feedback should be clear, accountable, well timed, and solicited, so do not be afraid to seek further clarification or examples as and when necessary. Aim to understand the situation from the viewpoint of another as this can help you to accept what is being said and enable you to decide on any future actions that can be taken to improve your performance.

Networking

Mentoring programs provide ample networking opportunities. Additionally, mentoring no longer needs to be limited to a one to one relationship. Mentors are typically more experienced than mentees and so often have a wide variety of contacts at their disposal. As a result, a mentor might be able to put you in touch with people who can get you to where you need to be.

Networking in this way can open doors to internal promotions, and working relationships with other senior staff members, allowing for movement across departments and further opportunities for growth and development. As and when appropriate, consider asking your mentor to identify potential collaborators of influence within your field of expertise. Being introduced in this way makes it more likely that you will be remembered, providing access to even further career advancement possibilities.

Ultimately, mentoring relationships can play an important role in helping you to advance at work and climb the corporate ladder. For this reason, it is vital that your mentor-mentee pairing is a good match and that you take actionable steps to shape your mentoring sessions.

Public speaking skills are integral to the corporate world and can be enhanced through mentoring sessions. Want to improve your ability to lead a business talk? Check out this guide to creating an effective business presentation.