Earlier this month, we talked about what mentors do, and through this discussion, we built an ideal mentor profile. Now, it's time to look at the ideal mentee profile.
The Ideal Mentee Will
- Be willing to take risks: A mentee will be successful if they are willing to get out of the comfort zone, take reasonable risks, and flex their professional muscles. The latter could involve taking on new challenges, confronting difficult situations, etc.
- Listen and take advice: Hearing what the mentor is really saying and seriously considering all advice is essential. This is most critical when it comes to receiving feedback regarding what areas the mentee needs to address.
- Take responsibility for learning: The mentee (not the mentor) drives the mentoring relationship. The mentee decides what advice to accept or reject, what course of action to follow, and what risks to take. The mentor's task is to guide the mentee. mentees need to own their actions.
An Effective Mentee Will Also Be
- Open minded: The mentee must be willing to consider other viewpoints and remain open to constructive criticism that can provide information about blind spots and how to deal with them successfully.
- Motivated: The mentee is the driver in this relationship and must accept that role. This means the mentee must be motivated to stay engaged in this relationship and to work toward achieving results.
- Courageous: Being a successful mentee involves mustering the courage to share vulnerabilities with the mentor (which isn't always easy). The mentee also exhibits courage when taking risks, taking on new challenges, and so forth.
- Committed: Honoring appointments, arriving on time, and, most importantly, completing agreed upon tasks—these are crucial if a mentee wants the mentor to feel that the investment of time and effort is worthwhile.
If you're entering into a mentoring relationship as the mentee, the best thing you can do is take our e-learning course, Maximizing Mentoring Success. It's only $99 and will give you the insight you need to be successful in your mentoring relationship.