A healthy mentor-mentee relationship can work wonders for your job satisfaction. This is not about pleasing your boss or getting a positive appraisal from your supervisor. This is about learning important lessons from an experienced person.
A good mentor is good because he is busy with running his own enterprise. So, it is important to be proactive. You have to take the right opportunities, and be very alert to find the right mentor. If you find someone you get on with and respect, never be afraid to ask them.
For instance, Steve Jobs served as a mentor to Mark Zuckerberg. The two developed a relationship in the early days of Facebook.
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But while, mentors can be the source of much motivation and learning, there can be periods of grief if you have a fallout. Here are some things that can save the day, and put you back on the track.
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Resolve the problem
Many proteges start using mentors as a substitute for the need to do any thinking of their own. The laziness can be off-putting and the dependence exhausting. In such situations, mentors often disengage from the mentoring relationship. So, the best thing is to take initiative and try to prove to your mentor that you want to learn. Despite the mentorship of Freddie Laker, Richard Branson had to put in his own effort to launch Virgin Atlantic off the ground.
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Draw clear boundaries
The mentor-mentee relationship can get personal and move beyond the immediate assignment. But it is important to stay on the same page as to where the relationship stands. Warren Buffet played mentor to Bill Gates. They met at a dinner, and the relationship evolved to include many subjects and spheres. If your relationship with the mentor is strictly about work, relying on him for personal difficulties can be off-putting. Establish a cadence for communication. Most mentors want to keep up with major developments in their mentees’ work, but dislike unscheduled phone calls or a flood of emails for minor issues.
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A board of mentors
The concept of mentorship teams has slowly started to spread through management. Firms such as Credit Suisse now employ a multiperson mentorship strategy when assigning new analysts to projects.Few senior-level people have the time or range of expertise to serve as a solo mentor. Having a handful of co-mentors also gives you a fallback position if the relationship with the primary mentor fizzles.
So, while it is basic to bring back something to the table and respond with reciprocity, these work techniques can help resolve issue with the mentor.