Let’s Talk About MENTORING
Everyone knows they need a mentor, but
very few people have one. Why?
1. The reasons are many, really–people
don’t know how to find the right
person, or fear of rejection keeps
them from asking.
2. Getting a mentor falls into the
dangerous “important but not
urgent” category, so it never gets
3. Others have no idea what a healthy
mentoring relationship would
actually look like, so they never take
the first step.
4. You don’t need to wait till the series
is over to ask for mentoring, but I
hope knowing that help is coming
will give you the confidence you
need to move forward.
Getting a mentor isn’t easy, but it can be done,
and it’s worth it. We’re going to start by
1. While we all ultimately have to find our own way, mentors
can help you navigate that road more
smoothly. Someone a few years down the road from you has
the benefit of wisdom and experience behind them. A good mentor
will get to know you, and can speak into your life with the benefit of
their past experience.
2. Mentors bring a
fresh perspective. It’s
difficult to see your own strengths,
weaknesses, and challenges clearly.
Mentors can help you understand yourself
better and see things as they really are.
3. Mentors make you
ask the hard questions.
having a mentor forces you to think through
difficult questions, to consider what you really
need and where you really want to go. If you
have no idea what you need, you haven’t
thought about it enough. Mentors make you
think (and can nudge you if you’re stuck).
enormously reassuring to
hear your mentor say
something like, “This thing
you’re struggling with? I
struggled with that, too.
5. Mentors concretely
performance in and
satisfaction with our
work. Numerous studies have shown
that people with mentors make more
money at work, are promoted more
often, and are more satisfied with their
jobs. The benefits of mentoring outside
the workplace may be harder to measure
but they’re just as real.
1. Plan: How can you approach this person? Where? When? What will you say?
Just like a job interview, you want to go in prepared.
2. Bridge: Create some
kind of meaningful connection. For
example, you can follow up on a
recent accomplishment of theirs, like
an award or headline-making scoop
3. Close: Close the deal! With the hard part of the ”ask” over, you now
need to follow up, which is critical.
4. Assess: Your final step is that once the relationship kicks off, you need to
evaluate what you’re getting out of it. “It’s important to see what you want to renew
and what you want to release. Sometimes your career goals change.”
…Make sure your
work gets noticed
by your mentor
…Ask for feedback
• …Sweat it if you get no response
• …Always agree with your mentor
• …Shy away from conflict or fear being outside
your comfort zone