Modern Mentoring: The New Mentoring Mindset

modern mentoringEarlier this week, I had the pleasure of attending a Women’s Health Leadership TRUST panel where the topic was modern mentoring. The speakers discussed how mentor relationships today do not only benefit the mentee, but the mentor as well. Teaching and learning are now two way streets in modern mentoring, as age groups like millennials bring advanced digital knowledge to the table.

Mentor and mentee relationships are a crucial part of everyone’s professional development. The panel discussed the key pillars of modern mentoring:

I learned a lot about mentoring relationships from the mentor perspective. As someone who is in the early stages of their professional career, it was interesting to hear the different perspectives of several successful professionals in the health industry and their experiences with mentoring relationships. This insight got me thinking about how mentees can make the most out of their mentoring relationships:

Know what you want out of the mentoring relationship

Whether you’re asking someone to be your mentor, or meeting with your mentor for the first time, have a clear idea of what you want the relationship to be.  This ensures that you and you mentor are on the same page, and allows the relationship to be as beneficial as possible.  Not to mention most mentors have incredibly busy schedules, so this helps you get the most out of the time you do get with them.

Have a plan, but be open to surprises

When your mentor – or anyone – asks you where you see yourself in five years, you should definitely have a clear answer. However, that doesn’t mean that you always need to stick to that five year plan. Unexpected opportunities are going to come your way, and the least you can do for yourself is consider them. These unexpected opportunities are great topics to talk through with your mentor, and discuss how this new opportunity could add to your “personal toolbox” of skills.

Know the difference between a mentor and a therapist

The great part about having a mentor is you have someone to ask questions to in a judgment-free zone. However, make sure you are saving relevant questions for your mentor. There is a fine line between someone who is there to help you figure out what’s best for you and your career and someone who listens to all of your problems.

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