Ask the top 5 CEOs what got them to the peak of their organizations. “It’s all about relationships!” says Simon T. Bailey, in his LinkedIn Learning course, “Understanding Your Four Key Relationships.” The way you handle relationships within your company will probably have the biggest impact on your career trajectory. And, some of your most valuable professional relationships will be with mentors and sponsors.
Once you’ve learned “The 5 Things Everyone Should Know About Mentorship” and found your mentors, here’s how to best leverage them.
Do the work upfront
Go to them with specific goals and asks. You should be driving this relationship. So, your benefits are directly related to your effort and strategy.
- Think about what you want to ask before you go to them.
- Don’t make them do the work for you.
- If you have problems, think about possible solutions before talking to them.
- Send them a brief agenda at least a day before the meeting.
Give them closure and feedback
Avoid leaving them hanging/disappearing into a black hole.
- Send thank you messages after meetings and let them know specifically what you’ve learned and what you’re going to apply.
Thank you so much for your time and advice today. I look
forward to your introductions to ______. In the meantime, here
are my takeaways from today.
Keep them posted on your progress
Keep them engaged and motivated by staying in touch. Reach out to them regularly with updates on your successes.
- Let them know about your achievements (awards, etc.)
You’ve been in my thoughts lately. I recently got selected for ______
and wanted to keep you posted, because I couldn’t have done
any of this without you.
Thank you so much for your guidance, and for believing in me.”
- The more they feel a part of your journey, the more they’ll feel invested in helping you develop.
- Give them a reason to care.
Make it a two-way street
Giving can be very rewarding. But, most people enjoy reciprocal, win-win situations even more.
- Ask them what you can do for them.
- Offer helpful introductions.
- Leverage your own sphere of influence to help your mentors and sponsors.
- If they write a blog or something, retweet it. Everyone likes their ego boosted.
Guard their trust
Loose lips sink ships - and promising mentorship relationships. Remember to always treat these valuable relationships with respect, maturity, and "The Golden Rule."
- Whatever you discuss should stay between you two.
- Allow them to feel comfortable being honest and vulnerable with you.