It’s a given that for any relationship to work, it has to be mutually beneficial. It can never be a one-way street and mutual respect need to be equal on both sides. Every successful business leader will always point to a specific person or mentor in their lives who has mentored them along the way. However, most professionals overlook the fact that they need to cultivate a relationship which is beneficial to both, themselves and the mentor. After all, if you want your mentor to stick around, you have to give them reason to.
Here's how you can make your relationship with your mentor mutually beneficial.
Do your homework before approaching your potential mentor. Understand their background, their journey and the kind of person they are. While engaging with your mentor, ensure you are clear about what you seek and what you can offer him in return. When you are transparent about everything from the beginning, both your mentor and you can be on the same page.
There is no such thing as too much gratitude. If your mentor removes time from his busy schedule to help you, you should pay him back for his efforts. Whether it is helping him get in touch with a certain investor or providing him with the contacts; a mentee should make the effort to express his gratitude to his mentor so their relationship becomes mutually beneficial.
Both the mentor and the mentee need to develop good listening skills, since guidance mostly the ability and patience to focus. When a person knows you're really listening, they will be able to establish trust over time and express themselves openly without fear of judgment.
In a successful mentoring relationship, you'll create opportunities for each other. It is obvious that a mentor enables a mentee, but it can work the other way around as well. Be it internal news about possible investments, recruitment, etc., as we stated earlier it’s a two-way street.
If your mentor has assigned a certain task or project to you, then periodically update him on the progress. Similarly, if your mentee has asked you to help him with some information, you need to keep him in the loop when you make any developments. Staying accountable to one another will make sure you're both moving forward.
Evaluate the progress your relationship has made every quarter to see if it's still a good fit all around. Use the above-mentioned tactics to always stay aligned with the mission you set out to achieve.