This is the fourth part of a five part series.
Whether you are interested in being a mentor or a protege, there are some steps that you should take before entering into this sort of relationship. One thing to keep in mind is that no mentoring relationship is the same. All mentoring relationships are unique.
1. What Do You Expect – Before setting out to do anything, you need to consider what you want to accomplish. This goes for mentoring or just about anything in general. If you are a mentor, are you looking for pass on specific knowledge? For a protege, what would you want to get from a mentoring relationship? This step is most important and expectations or goals should be known by the mentor and protege. I would suggest that the expectations be SMART, but that is ultimately up to you. Remember that mentoring is a relationship, it’s constantly growing and changing course, and nothing is set in stone.
As I mentioned in my posts, I have a FOREX mentor. She actually approached me. I really didn’t know anything about FOREX trading and had no desire to learn. After she initiated the contact, I read a about the subject. It sounded interesting, but I still wasn’t sure what she would be doing exactly. She explained that she would spend as much time with me as I wanted using Skype. After speaking with her on a separate occasion and saw that she wasn’t trying to make money off of me, I was all in.
I am now trying to find the same sort of mentoring, but in real estate investing. I think I may have found one and look forward to sharing my experiences when I do.
2. Assess Skills and/or Experiences – Before entering into a mentoring relationship, the mentor and protege need to assess each other’s qualities to ensure a good fit. There are many ways to do this such as by exchanging resumes or cover letters. The cover letter should obviously be geared towards the potential mentoring relationship. You may want to include your goals for the mentorship. Another way to assess the potential mentor or protege is to actually meet. It’s preferable that this is a short meeting. You are basically trying to get a feel for the other person and see if they’re going to be a fit or not.
3. Be Prepared to Retract – If after exchanging resumes/cover letters and possibly meeting with the person, you may find that you two are not a match. That’s OK. It’s better to find out ahead of time before much time is invested. Whether you are a mentor or a protege, you want to make sure that you’ve found a good fit for you. If both parties aren’t fully committed or compatible, move on. A mentoring relationship can be as rewarding as you want it to be!
4. Set Boundaries – Think about how personal you want to get in your mentorship. Perhaps a protege is mentoring under someone to mentor them in starting up a business. Many people are really “tight lipped” about their finances. How detailed does the protege want to get with their finances? Is this instance, it might be crucial for the protege to disclose his or her finances, but this is a boundary that the mentor/protege needs to think about. Related to that, does a protege disclose a possible partner’s financials? Be sure that you are very clear with your mentor/protege from the beginning about boundaries. It would be a real shame for spend a few weeks with a person and then come to a halt due to a boundary that wasn’t discussed, but is crucial to the process.
5. Why Do You Want to be a Mentor or Protege? – Perhaps, if you are a potential mentor, you want to pass on your knowledge to others. In fact, you may even be so inclined because you feel like you owe society because someone was generous enough to mentor you in the past. For a protege, maybe you want to hone a particular skill. Perhaps you want help in a broader sense, such as personal development. Whatever your position, figure out why you want to be a mentor or protege. I know that’s one of the first questions I’d ask if I was interviewing a prospective mentor/protege.
Have you been a mentor or protege before? Did you do anything to prepare for the mentorship?
Photo by: Marina Cast
First Edition of the Carnival of Pecuniary Delights
10 Things to Look for in a Protege
10 Things to Look for in a Mentor
Want to Be Successful? – Get a Mentor
5 Reasons Why You Should Have a Store Front