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How to Create a Great Mentoring RelationshipViews: 596
Mar 20, 2007 2:35 amHow to Create a Great Mentoring Relationship#

Denise Michaels
This article will help you understand how to approach a potential mentor in a way that will make that person more positively pre-disposed to helping you succeed. Read these tips and go find your personal mentor.

• Take an interest in the person as a human being not just as a resource. I have an Internet mentor who makes multi-millions a year. After asking a question I always ask him about what’s going on in his life, share a joke or tell him something funny that’s happened to me. Recently I wrote him and after asking a question I typed, “Tomorrow I’m speaking in a seminar, so right now I’m sitting in my hotel room catching up on emails with hair dye on top of my head.” He wrote back that he laughed so hard he almost fell off his chair. You don’t have to tell your whole life story, but make yourself real. Make it fun and interesting, never sad or depressing. Every millionaire I’ve ever met is extremely positive and upbeat and doesn’t want to be around negative people.

• Don’t say, “I’d like to pick your brain.” My brain “done been picked dry” and I start feeling bored when I hear those words. I know the time I spend with that person will be nothing but an interrogation. A totally one-sided conversation. Instead say, “I would really value your opinion.” It’s a bit gentler, more complimentary and I know it will be a pleasant conversation not an inquisition. I feel interrogated when people want me to come up with original ideas specific to their entire life circumstances - for free. In other words they want me to solve all their problems. Does that sound like an enjoyable lunch to you? I don’t think so.

• Learn how to make cause and effect links. Don’t ask a mentor to solve all your problems and become dependent on them. Learn to creatively take the suggestions you’re given and apply them to your life. Don’t wait for a mentor to spoon feed you cookie cutter solutions. Becoming a millionaire just isn’t that linear. This isn’t job training like learning to flip burgers or run a computer program. Nobody ever became a millionaire being fed from someone else’s spoon. Get creative. Come up with your own solutions to problems as they arise. Ask yourself, “What would _________ do in this situation?” This increases your value. Be a problem solver.

• Don’t monopolize a lot of your mentor’s time. Connect in a way that’s quick and easy. Don’t invite them to a two-hour dinner. If you meet at a seminar they probably already have meetings scheduled during lunch and dinner. If it’s at home, they probably want “down-time.” Offer to drive them to the airport or share a cab. Ask what they like in their coffee or tea and get 15-20 quality minutes that way.

• If your mentor agrees to breakfast, lunch or dinner together happily pick up the tab. Don’t be cheap. Their time is worth hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars per hour. The least you can do to show you value their time is to treat them. If you can’t afford to pick up the tab for an expensive dinner, take them for a coffee and muffin at Starbucks.

• Be clear about what you’re doing and what you need. There is so much “mucky thinking” in the world. I’m amazed people feel they have to write pages to express one idea. That means you’re unclear. Develop a clear elevator speech and mission statement. Think about one or two specific questions you need answered. Consider your words carefully so you can ask your questions clearly.

• Listen, listen, listen to what they say. Don’t think about all the reasons why you can’t do something they suggest. That’s part of the reason why you’re not there yet. Say, “I’m dealing with yada, yada, yada – how would you suggest overcoming those obstacles.”

• Don’t say, “I’m looking for a mentor.” It’s easy to deflect a statement like this and smile without a commitment. Instead say, “Would it be okay with you if we connected by email or on the phone once in awhile so I could get your opinion. You’ve been so helpful and I really appreciate it.” It would be hard to say “no” to a simple request like that.

• Thank the person for their time. Tell them what you’re going to do. When you take action, let them know. Always tell them when you take an action step. That’s the most gratifying part for a mentor. Knowing that you took their advice and it didn’t fall on deaf ears.

• Go beyond the advice they give you. Be a “go the extra mile” kind of person. Don’t be a quitter. You won’t get to millionaire status by listening passively. Take action. Be a winner not a whiner!

• Reciprocate once in awhile. If you see a great article you think your mentor would enjoy – send it to them with a quick note. If you have a trade or a skill and can offer to help them out in some way – offer it. Don’t say, “How can I help you?” Then they have to figure it out. Say, “I’m very good at _____. If you ever need _____ give me a call, I’ll be more than happy to help out any way I can.” Even if they never take you up on it, they will appreciate that you offered. Remember their birthday and wedding anniversary. Send their kids a birthday card if you’ve met them.

Having a mentor can be a real boon to creating wealth and enjoying a rich life faster. Remember that mentors are human. They want relationships that are interesting and stimulating for them as well. It must be more than just “take, take, take.”


All the best,

Denise Michaels
author, "Testosterone-Free Marketing"
To learn more about marketing mentoring for women business owners go to http://www.MentoringwithDenise.com

Private Reply to Denise Michaels

Mar 20, 2007 3:53 pmre: How to Create a Great Mentoring Relationship#

Linda van Dyk
Hi Diane,

I've been reading your postings over the last week and just wanted to say your information is so timely and helpful!! I'm new to Ryze and really appreciate what you offer people here. I've set up a mentor program with 3 ladies, next session this Thursday, and your posting today was absolutely perfect. Thanks for being there for us ladies who are self employed!!

Linda

Private Reply to Linda van Dyk

Mar 20, 2007 9:07 pmre: re: How to Create a Great Mentoring Relationship#

Denise Michaels
Hi Linda:

Thanks so much.

All the best,

Denise Michaels
Author, "Testosterone-Free Marketing:
For women-business owners - be sure to check out my new site at http://www.MentoringwithDenise.com

Private Reply to Denise Michaels

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