How to Be a Great Mentor or Mentee

How to Be a Great Mentor or Mentee

Psst! One of the most awesome opportunities we have as members of this community is to mentor the next generation! Purchase a copy of the Girls Goal Planner for an 8-13-year-old in your life and commit to encouraging her in a consistent way. You never know what good your gift might spark!

Cultivators are lifelong learners who believe in the power of community. We know that where there is community, there is accountability, encouragement, and inspiration. When you surround yourself with people who are ahead of you on the path, you're able to go farther, faster!

I know I wouldn't be where I am now if it weren't for the people in my life who selflessly shared their wisdom with me and saved me from having to learn some lessons the hard way—and I'm confident the same is true for you, too!

What is a mentor? What is a mentee?

The basic definition of a mentor is someone who is offering wisdom to help you grow. She might challenge you consistently, or meet with you on a regular basis. Mentors come in all shapes and sizes—they can even be someone you've never met! (More on that below!) A mentor's experience and encouragement can help lead you to victories and help you stay the path when the goal-getting gets tough.

A mentee, on the other hand, is someone who recognizes her need for growth and improvement and is eager to learn from and implement advice from someone who's been where she wants to go.

Whether you're looking for a mentor or mentee, or you already have one (or are one!) and are looking to excel in your role, Team Cultivate has put together a list of some of our best mentorship tips!

How to Be a Great Mentor

  • Listen closely. Listening is key to effective communication. Melissa from our PowerSheets Group on Facebook says, "Just like in any type of relationship, active listening is key. A mentor is there to guide, but it's vital for her to also actively listen to her mentee to curate a way to best help the mentee succeed, no matter what that may look like." 

  • Establish goals. We're all about this, of course! Get clear on the purpose of the mentorship and the outcomes both parties desire. What do you and your mentee hope to achieve by the end of this month? Quarter? Year? Why did she ask for your help and what is she hoping to learn or gain from you? 

  • Use outside resources. Pick a book or course to walk through and apply together. This is a great way to guide your conversations. Plus, both parties will benefit by learning something new together!

How to Be Great Mentee

  • Keep an open mind. One of the best ways to maintain a solid relationship with your mentor is to show interest in what they are teaching you. Keeping an open mind reflects your willingness to leave your comfort zone and grow!
  • Ask clear, specific questions. When talking with your mentor, don't be afraid to ask lots of questions! Mentors love to share their experiences with anyone who is willing to listen. And when they respond, don't be afraid to ask for clarification or ask a follow-up question.
  • Share your progress. One of the benefits of having a mentor is being able to learn and grow from their wisdom and experience. Take the advice you've received to heart and practice what you’ve learned. Sometimes, the best way you can express your gratitude is by demonstrating your growth!
  • Be a delight in return. You may not feel like you have a lot to offer your mentor, but curiosity, generosity of spirit, and encouragement go a long way.

5 Tips for Finding A Mentor or Mentee

  • Ask your workplace, school, or local church for recommendations. Some organizations have programs in place that are designed specifically to pair individuals looking for a mentor or mentee. Look for the men and women who embody the hard and soft skills you want to cultivate. Tammy, one of our fellow Cultivators, recommends reaching out to former professors. "Two of my greatest mentors were my professors. I reach out to them with questions throughout my career and life!" she says.
  • Join the PowerSheets Facebook group! If you haven't joined the fun, now is the perfect time to do so! This group—along with our other Facebook groups—is a great resource for finding informal (or formal!) mentors.

  • Network, network, network. Let those closest to you know that you are on the lookout for a mentor or mentee! Chances are, the word will spread and someone will reach out to you with a suggestion.
  • Be specific. When you find a mentor you'd love to work with and are ready to make the ask, try sending her an email versus putting her on the spot with a direct ask in person. Consider including the specific reasons you're drawn to her and what you're hoping to learn through your time together!
  • Go virtual. It's not as ideal, but if you haven't been able find an in-person mentor, you can still learn from those you admire in an intentional way. Pinpoint people you respect and note their career or life moves and philosophies. If you have the opportunity to observe someone at work, at church, or in a social setting, you can be mentored by someone even if they are unaware!

P.S. Looking for gift ideas for the younger girls in your life? Whether she's your daughter, sister, niece, cousin, neighbor, or friend, our Girls Goal Planner is a great resource for girls ages 8 to 13!

Cultivators, it's your turn to share! What advice do you have for finding a mentor or mentee? We'd love to hear your mentor/mentee success stories in the comments below!

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