Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Working with a Small Business Mentor - Do's Don'ts

There's more to an effective mentoring relationship than organized meetings. After mentoring a lot of entrepreneurs, I feel a lot of time , small business entrepreneur could not take the best from the mentor .

Mentor-Mentee relationship is a very ancient form of relationship, and has a tradition of knowledge sharing both in business and life . Following are do's and don't to get the best out of your mentor

Mentors are human being. They also fail . They don't let their fall to become a failure. That's why its important to take an interest in the person as a human being. I have an mentor who makes millions of dollars a year doing mentoring. After I ask my question I always ask him about what’s going on in his life, or share a joke or tell him something funny that’s happened to me.

Value the opinion of the mentor , even if you don't apply at later stage. If a value a opinion will learn from what you listen. Otherwise you will only listen and learn nothing.

Don’t try to wste a lot of your mentor's time at first. Connect in a way that’s quick and easy.

Be clear about what you’re doing and what you need. There is so much “dusty thinking” in the world. . Work on developing a clear elevator speech and mission statement. Think about one or two specific questions you need answered and think about your words and how to ask those questions clearly.

Listen, listen, listen

Thank the person for their time. Tell them what you’re going to do and then when you take action, be sure to let them know what you’re doing. Always, always, always tell them when you take an action step.

Reciprocate once in awhile. If you see a great article that you think he would enjoy – send it to him with a quick note. .

With mutual respect, demonstrated through action as well as attitude, your mentoring relationship can be mutually rewarding.

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