9 years ago – Share on Twitter – Share on Facebook – Share via Email; Posted on June 27th, 2011 by Maggie Castrey. • Am I viewed as high-maintenance when I send my boss weekly status updates? What drives them to do the work that they do? That way, if you like how you’re perceived, you can embrace it and take steps to strengthen that positive perception. After all, the mentor-mentee relationship is just that: a relationship. Some questions to consider: 1. What are the most important things you will focus on before w… What’s the best advice you can give to help plan a career rather than simply work to keep a job? Relevant discussion topics might be clarification of roles and responsibilities, formal aspects of the mentoring relationship, and perhaps cooperation and collaboration with other mentees at the school. Mentor Guidelines and 80 Questions to Ask Mentee. Mentors are very busy. One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is the gift of self-awareness, meaning the ability to see yourself as others view you. Provide context to help your mentor understand you. Can we work through what to do differently next time? Question #6: Where do you need the most help? How have they influenced you? Guidelines for the First Mentor/Mentee Session. Hey, everybody likes to talk about themselves! Questions and suggestions for mentees to share with their mentors. It may be useful to allow more time for this meeting than subsequent discussions. What you talk about, and the one on one meeting questions you ask, make all the difference in the performance of your team. Ask questions such as: • How am I viewed? 4 Types Of Questions To Ask A Mentor. For example: • I tried to delegate a task last week and it did not go well. Question #4: What are you not doing well that’s preventing you from getting there? • I have been asked to facilitate a team-building activity at a staff retreat. What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned and how is it valuable? 4. Have conversations with your mentor gotten repetitive? You don’t want to spend your first meeting or phone call talking about the weather, so you think of a problem your connection might be interested in solving. When asked in this order, these questions provide a great framework for determining your mentee’s business challenges—which in turn, can help you deliver better guidance as a mentor. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. Question #3: What are you currently doing well that’s helping you get there? Encourage your mentee to conduct an honest assessment of what’s preventing them from reaching their goal—whether it’s at a company or individual level (or both). Consider your own experience and strengths, and what you’ll bring to the relationship. • Could you offer feedback on ways to improve my executive presence? MicroMentor is the world’s largest community of entrepreneurs and volunteer business mentors. Question #5: What can you do differently to overcome those challenges? That means when you find a mentor, you have to ask engaging questions. After starting with the obvious question: “How do you think others perceive me?” become more specific, so your mentor can assist by “holding up the mirror” and providing detailed feedback on how your actions and communication are impacting the way others see you. The best question to ask a mentor is a question that they can help solve or give you perspective on right then and there. Be ready to suggest some realistic timelines. © MicroMentor Copyright 2020. 2. • I'm considering a career transition. First Meeting. How do you encourage innovative ideas? The relationship that evolves between you and your mentee over a period of time is crucial to the success of the mentoring journey. Ask your mentor to tell a story from his or her career. What is the most important thing we need to discuss today? If we use the same mentee example from our previous question, it could be something like “I want to launch my food cart successfully and become popular in my community, so that I can eventually raise enough money to open my own brick and mortar restaurant.”. These questions provide an excellent first step toward building a successful mentoring relationship, helping you effectively assess how and where you can really help your mentee and their business. How would you describe your personal style? their answers from question three) and spend less time addressing their weaknesses (i.e. Mentorship is a scarce resource that not all have access to. Think back to five years ago. How did you learn to embrace failure? • What do you see as some of my blind spots and how can I improve? • When trying to gain buy-in to implement a new program, what tactics have worked for you? • Was there ever a role you applied for and landed, but weren't 100% qualified to do? 3. Below are four types of questions to ask your mentor, along with 10 related examples for each type. Can you tell me about a time when you had a difficult boss? 7. At the first meeting Some questions to consider: • Was there a time you messed up and felt like you’d failed? 5. Why are they in the business that they are in? This question is intended to help your mentee clarify and articulate their purpose. How did you handle it? • Which leadership skills were the most difficult to develop? The mentor and mentee should set out their expectations of the process at the initial meeting. Ask your mentor to tell a story from his or her career. Stories. Seek feedback. To break the ice, have your mentor tell a story from his or her own career. How did you handle the situation? • How did you learn to embrace risk-taking? • When I presented at the last meeting, how did I do? Now that the conversation is flowing, get more granular in your requests and bring a specific situation to your mentor--one that you’d like help navigating. Can you tell me about a time when you had a difficult boss? What does that mean? With these four types of questions and their accompanying examples, you’ll never sit through another mentoring conversation wondering if the other person is finding the discussion useful. • Do you have a template that you use for long-range visioning and strategic planning? But sometimes you really want to go deep with the questions you ask your mentor. During the first meeting, it is important that rapport be established between the mentor and the mentee and also that they reach an agreed way of working. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Have conversations with your mentor gotten repetitive? To do so, you need to think about what setting would feel comfortable for both of you, and plan out some conversation starters — knowing that these are tools if you need them, not a formula. How did you handle it? It’s important for your mentees to recognize their weaknesses and the challenges that are standing in the way of their success. 4. For example, a mentee who is launching their own food truck might say something like: “I want to share my love for authentic Cajun food with my community.”. This can be helpful to your mentee and also help you better understand the guidance and direction they need. Hey, everybody likes to talk about themselves! 1. • Can we role-play asking for a raise and a promotion? Encourage your mentee to think of things that they can do better than the average person that will help lead them towards their goal. It might become important to further evaluate their desired career … From your perspective, how is this mentorship going? • Can you tell me about a time when you had a difficult boss? Open this photo in gallery: Here are 10 questions you can ask her to take the pressure off you and make the most of your meeting. You also need to gain critical insights to help you familiarize yourself with your mentee’s business offering, as well as their obstacles and goals. If you don’t like how you are currently perceived, you can take steps to shift that perception to a more positive one that supports, rather than undermines, your career and leadership goals. Similarly, if your mentee is an amazing web developer, they’d much rather focus on that strength than let people see their poor leadership skills. All Rights Reserved. For example, if you are an incredible soccer player, you’d much rather show off that capability than let people see you struggle in a baseball game. Discuss with your mentor which goals you can work towards together, and the required first steps. And, they should help both you and the employee prepare in advance of your meeting. • What’s a good methodology or tool for project management and tracking team commitments? To guide you through this process, we’ve identified six key questions, designed to get the conversation started. Question #1: Why do you do what you do? 2. Question #2: Where do you want to go from here? • I’ve heard that taking a stretch assignment could help my career trajectory. • Who are the people I need to align with in this organization to achieve success? Ask direct questions to learn more about your mentor’s experiences. Tell me about a recent setback and how you recovered? This ‘contract’ establishes principles, ground rules and administrative arrangements. • How could I have communicated my idea more clearly? Did you envision this is where you would be? In other words, what's my personal brand in our organization? Can you weigh in to help me make a final decision? Implement these at your next meeting to keep things interesting–and valuable–for you and your mentor. Both parties want to make a good first impression. And the answer was “Yes!” But a year into the relationship, those monthly mentoring sessions might not invigorate you like they used to, and aren’t quite as energizing for the mentor, either. Ask your mentee for a short bio to introduce themselves. When your mentor asks you, “How can I help?” it’s easy to have a brain freeze if you haven’t thought it through beforehand. 3. Sample Agenda for First Mentoring Session. During the first few meetings with your mentee, be sure to ask them questions about their desired career path and additional questions that make them think about how their current position either does or does not align with that path. Here is a simple, but extraordinary, list of questions to use when talking with your mentor. Sticking to a budget? Is there a skill you’re currently working to enhance, such as project management, long-term strategic planning, delegating, or public speaking? 2. Many people feel nervous at the thought of meeting someone they don’t know and talking about themselves. Others feel inferior to their mentor, owing to their deficit in experience. • Do I come across as strategic or tactical in my day-to-day communication? And be prepared to talk about the challenges or obstacles you expect to encounter. This discussion-starter opens the conversation on a positive note. Asking good questions will help you—and your mentee—figure out the right path. • How can I stay connected to key influencers who do not work in same office or geographical area? So, you meet up with your mentor whose first question is “How can I help?” Lucky you—except, you skipped the point above and nothing (literally, nada) comes to mind. Ten questions to ask a mentor at your first meeting. Before the meeting, think about what you want to learn from the mentor. However, you will only reap the full rewards if you do your research before the meeting. Discuss the goals you agreed upon at the outset of the program. For example, you could inquire: “How did you get to where you are today?” or “How did you land your current role?” But you could also ask more specific questions that address your career objectives and concerns. This is a great way to pinpoint your mentee’s core strengths. FLiP Mentoring Program. 3. • Do you have any quick tips for re-energizing an overworked team? • Can you recommend a book or resource for dealing with difficult conversations? • Tell me about a recent business setback. People have a natural tendency to focus on the things that they do best (i.e. First off, congratulations on finding a mentor. How did you recover? First Meeting - Mentor Journey; Match; Get Acquainted; First Meeting; Progress Meetings ; Close; Now that you have built some rapport with your mentee and have outlined your expectations for each other, it is time to review, discuss, and document their progress in the Practical Experience Reporting Tool (PERT). She’s dedicated two decades to helping women advance into positions of influence by leveraging their leadership strengths. When asked in this order, these questions provide a great framework for determining your mentee’s business challenges—which in turn, can help you deliver better guidance as a mentor. 1) What are you most excited about right now? Imagine you approached someone you admired, and boldly asked that person to mentor you. Meeting with a potential mentor can lead to a game-changing relationship -- but the onus is on you, the entrepreneur, to ask the right questions. www.jomiller.com/book, © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. When it comes to succeeding in life and in business, you should never be afraid to ask questions. Your first meeting is vital because it will set the tone of the relationship. The five questions I recommend are: 1. What do you do to constantly challenge your underlying beliefs and assumptions? 5. Before meeting with your mentor, ask yourself what your biggest challenge is at the moment. What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned and how is it valuable? The first meeting with your mentee is an opportunity to start building your relationship and identifying subjects that warrant further discussion. One on one meetings are a cornerstone to any effective manager <-> team member relationship from small startups to giant companies. Did you envision your career as it is today? Do you have a mentor? What drives them to do the work that they do? She’s dedicated two decades to helping women advance into positions of influence by leveraging their, Jo Miller is a globally renowned authority on women’s leadership. Plan to meet for 60 minutes, at least once a month. First things first: Becoming somebody’s mentor is definitely worth your time. How did you proceed? The best place to start is with a good foundation of questions to use when you meet. Motivating a team? Questions to Ask a Mentor. I liked having an open phone line, where you can call at any time yet being aware and respectful if you cannot spend time at that moment due to other commitments. Why are corporations who claim to engage in diversity and inclusion fail to retain BIPOC employees? Since we learn best by doing, in order to figure out what to work on with a mentor, you need to be clear on two things: What you want to be able to do or do better; Which of those things overlaps with your mentors’ expertise and interests How did you land your current role? • Think back to five years ago. As a mentor, you’re aware of the skills you have to offer, but you need to be able to assess how your expertise can be best applied. The first mentor-mentee meeting is often characterized by anticipation and nervousness. What topics should you discuss in your first mentoring session? Determine the focus of your next meeting. These questions should ensure the most important things get discussed during each meeting. Did my communication style support the message I intended to deliver? At your first meeting, let your mentor know you’ll be tracking success and stay committed to it. Mentor and Mentee Questions and Tips. Award-winning speaker and researcher • CEO of Be Leaderly • Author of Woman of Influence: 9 Steps to Build Your Brand, Establish Your Legacy, & Thrive (McGraw-Hill), EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Michigan Economic Development Corporation With Forbes Insights, 803,000 Americans Filed For Unemployment Last Week: 70 Million Sought Unemployment Benefits Since The Pandemic, President Trump Calls For $2,000 Stimulus Checks And Says The $600 Is A ‘Disgrace’, 5 Personal Branding Lessons From Global K-Pop Sensation BTS, Five Striking Personal Branding Lessons From K-Pop Sensation Blackpink, 2020 In Review: The Top 3 Most Expensive Hiring Mistakes, Being A Whistleblower: What’s Protected And What’s Unlawful, Twitter Erupted In Anger Over The Scant $600 Offered To Americans While Billions Given To Foreign Countries, Ten Questions To Reflect On 2020 To Grow Leadership Agility, How Doing Laundry Made Me More Productive, Seven Paths To Success As A Freelance Entrepreneur. Are you on track or are any adjustments necessary? Share your professional goals and, as relevant, your life situation. What is your mentee’s ultimate goal? • I have two very different career path options available to me. Before the first meeting. This is about helping your mentee prioritize the right things. 1. This question is intended to help your mentee clarify and articulate their purpose. The bulk of this first meeting should be spent getting to know one another, at an appropriate first meeting level. Although your mentor doesn’t need to know everything about you, openly share your hopes and fears. Since progress cannot be measured by hard work alone, use this question to make sure your mentee understands what behavior change is needed in order to reach their goals. What type of preparation do you most appreciate seeing from your employees? How did you land your current role? Was there ever a job position that you applie… Jo Miller is a globally renowned authority on women’s leadership. In my article 23 Fun Questions to Ask Your Mentor I list some questions that help lighten up the mentoring session. Meeting your mentor for the first time can be a daunting prospect. Keep track of your journey with meeting notes and actions. One of the first questions a Mentee should ask a Mentor: Give five reasons that inspired you to become a Mentor? Below is a list of suggested questions, which have been offered by our existing mentors. What am I doing well and what can I be doing better? Send a quick message introducing yourself. When you first enter into a new mentoring relationship, it can be difficult to know where to begin. The problem with this tendency is that while your mentee may boast a phenomenal work ethic, if they are not focusing their hard work on the right things, they will be very limited in their progress. Think back to five years ago. • What practices can you recommend for dealing with nervousness when speaking to groups? By going through this exercise together, you can better define a mutually productive path forward. Present your goals in a clearly articulated fashion. • How did you develop the skill of speaking so engagingly in front of groups? Of course, no one likes dwelling on the negative, but you can’t overcome obstacles without first identifying what they are. • What do people say about me when I’m not in the room? Are there any 'rules' that both mentor and mentee should follow? • How can I become better at managing people who do not report to me? It seems like it may have run its course difficult to know one another, an. Evolves between you and your mentor for the first questions a mentee should ask a mentor ask! Goals and first steps it first mentor meeting questions, let your mentor to tell a story from his or her career. 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