How to Be a Good Mentee: Mentor Perspective

Mentors and Mentees have a mutual relationship with each other. A mentor is a person who guides, teaches, or advises someone less experienced. A mentee is the one being mentored. Mentoring can be seen as a form of social capital in which both parties benefit from the relationship. In this article, I will share 5 tips on how to be a good mentee from my perspective as a mentor that could help you get into your next program successfully!

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Be open-minded

To begin with, mentees should be open-minded about joining a mentoring program. Not everything will seem reasonable for mentees, but it’s important to be not skeptical about ideas and suggestions. Mentors have usually a broader life and professional experience. The lines between right and wrong may be thin, but it is easy to get muddled in the complex world of facts. What might seem distracting to mentees, however, may appear reasonable from the perspective of a mentor.

Mentees don’t have to agree with everything, but it’s important to be open-minded enough. A mentee should understand that his mentor is not perfect and has her own development flaws, but mentors know how to avoid or fix them. Mentees can do better if they try to catch the flow of conversation instead of fighting against every idea. Mentees should focus on learning because it’s the main purpose of mentoring programs. Mentees should not obsess with changing mentors' opinions; otherwise, they will risk failing in their own development. Mentees can better choose a mentor by checking her interests and making sure that she has enough experience and knowledge to share with an open mind.

Take responsibility 

Second, mentees should be able to take responsibility. It is important to listen, to be open, to follow up, and at the same time not to shift responsibility to others on decision making. Mentors will give necessary advice, but the final decision is always the mentees'. Mentees can benefit from a mentor's experience and knowledge for a better understanding of their situation, help with choosing the right path, but they have to understand that it is them who must take responsibility for making decisions. It’s not a good idea of looking for someone else to blame if something goes wrong. Mentees should be responsible for their future and accept any consequences of every decision they make. 

Take action 

Third, following through with activities after the sessions. A lot of people talk a good game but few walk the talk. Mentors should develop their mentees in two ways: listening and doing. No recommendations will be effective unless followed by actions.

Don't be afraid to be wrong

Fourth, not to be afraid to make wrong actions. Sometimes, even the worst mistakes can lead to the greatest solution.

Only one piece of the puzzle

Fifth, consider that working with a mentor is only one step in your development journey. That's simply the beginning of the process. After mentoring, growth and learning continue. So do not expect to reach all of your objectives during your mentorship. A mentor may provide the push you need to get things moving forward.

In order to be a good mentee, it is important to be open-minded, take responsibility, and be willing to take action. Mentors are not perfect, and mentees should not obsess over changing their mentors' opinions. It is also important to understand that working with a mentor is only one step in the development journey.

This article is brought to you thanks to WomenTech Global Ambassador & Mentor Marianna Simonian. Marianna is currently working as an HR analyst.