The Mentorship Journey

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Mentor or Mentee?

Where are you going and who’s taking you there?

the journey

You might’ve noticed that I write a lot about mentorship.

I have a post about it HERE and HERE TOO – have a read after this post!

I have been fortunate to have had several amazing mentors, whether they were from a formal program or informally as well. I firmly believe that with my learnings from them is what makes me a strong mentor today.

In this 2 part series blog, I’ll take you through the top tips on how to make your mentorship journey more fulfilling!

Part 1 – The Road Map

Tip 1: It’s All About Perspective

How far can you see?

I recently attended a Women In Leadership event about mentorship. I myself have been a mentor at Women In Leadership since 2012 and sat on the Executive Board as one of the Vancouver Chapter Co-Chairs for 2014.

This evening we heard from Jill Earthy of Futurpreneurs and also Maninder Dhaliwal of Ballet BC who was also a past WIL mentor and Co-Chair. Maninder said: “Mentorship is like standing on the shoulders of giants.”

This is a great example of how one can maximize your learnings from your mentor’s potential! As a mentee, you should be taking the opportunity to see the perspective from your mentor’s view. Are the key learnings they see something you resonate with? Or maybe you don’t and that’s ok – that’s what learning is all about.

When asked about mentors, Jill Earthy said, “It’s important to reach back and grab a hand.” Again an important key point! From my experience as a mentor, I have learned so much from mentees along the journey. It gives me a different perspective. While I might be the giant in their eyes, they are the eagles capable of zeroing in on the nitty gritty details that I might not be seeing from my perspective!

Tip 2: Use The 10-10-10 Formula

It’s like drive thru but healthier!

A mentorship relationship is kind of like blind dating. You need to get used to each other’s working style. You need to be adaptable.

I once had a mentor who only had 30 minutes out of his day for our monthly meetings and it always happened while he was making the drive from the office to pick up his kids from daycare. Some might think this is an atrocious situation but guess what? It was the perfect situation for me as it’s what I needed at the time. I was able to be concise and really to the point!

I decided to break up the time as 10 minutes for a catch up/update on what I did from last meeting, 10 minute for “the ask” and in agency speak that means focusing on my challenge, and then 10 minutes to discuss and for me to say what my action items were. It was a perfect scenario that really pushed me out of my comfort zone and anytime I’m pressed for time now, I can always apply the 10-10-10 formula again!

Tip 3: Drive That Bus!

A mentorship relationship is really driven by the mentee.

Maninder said, “Don’t just get on the bus, drive the bus! You decide who gets on the bus!” I resonate so much with her “take the bull by the horns” approach! As a mentee it’s so important to respect the mentor’s time and this is really a great opportunity to go out of your comfort zone in a safe environment. There is no judging or a promotion on the line. This is purely an opportunity for you as a mentee to get direct yet gentle feedback from with your mentor. Get the support and the push you need in order to get to the destination or goal that you want to be in after the mentorship ends.

Share With Me

What is your best tip for getting the most out of a mentorship relationship?

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I’ll talk about the newest trend – the difference between Mentor, Sponsor and Champion! There’s also a list of resources to boot on the next post!

Grace Lanuza
Grace’s 10+ years in the ever-changing world of experiential marketing taught her the importance of having the right team in the right roles. Expanding her passion for people, Grace recently grew her career in the talent acquisition and employment branding space managing campus recruiting across North America for Mosaic, a top marketing agency. You can expect Grace’s unique voice to be found blogging about Gen Y hiring, motivating your team, interviewing tips and tricks, and best practices to keep remote employees engaged.

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