Amongst the many new ways mentors and mentees can now connect in our digital age, a dedicated meeting or call is still the best way to gain insights from your mentor while building a strong relationship.
I see many of our SAP Mentors share their knowledge and advice via blogs and Answers to the benefit of many members of the SAP Community. However, if you’ve had the fortune of having a mentor, or the fortune of mentoring someone, I think you’ll agree this one-on-one time is precious and should therefore be treated with care.
Not being late for your meeting or call, and sending your mentor a note of thanks for their time and advice are obvious social graces we all should practice. Here are a few other points mentees should keep in mind to make meetings go smoothly and benefit both parties:
Make a list of your goals and objectives. At the very least, know what you want to tell, ask, learn, or achieve before you meet. Your engagement can be casual and conversational, but make no mistake – your mentor is fully expecting to help you where possible in that short amount of time, so don’t waste it.
Share your story with your mentor. Wait – shouldn’t the mentor be the one doing most of the talking? It’s true, you should be ready with questions (preferably open-ended questions), then be ready to listen with an open mind. However, mentors want to learn from you as much as they learn from reflecting on the advice and lessons they share. Furthermore, stories are great to start conversations.
Take notes of your meeting. It certainly doesn’t have to be ‘contemporaneous notes.’ Whether or not you agree with what your mentor told you, the purpose of keeping notes is to help you remember the discussion topics so you can keep the conversation going. What supporting or opposing or related material can you find about the topics can you include in your thank you note, and can you share in your next meeting with your mentor?
That’s not it! I invite others to share their pointers and tips from a mentor and mentee’s perspective.