“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” That was Isaac Newton’s assertion about the beauty of mentee and mentor’s relationship. I have written about the tips about mentoring here. One of the best gifts we could ever have in life is people. It has been my major blessing to have mentors who showed me the path through life. Among the many lessons I have learnt, here are five critical ones that could make the relationship enjoyable.
- A mentee must be willing to learn by asking questions, engaging in healthy debates and accepting counsel or open to disagree respectfully. As people age, they tend to speak less because they have seen things in life that words now matter to them. It takes a lot of patience and curiosity to learn from them at this stage. Sometimes, a scar is all they will show you and nothing more. It behooves on you to probe further because there are lessons to learn from that scar.
- A mentee should accord honour to his mentor. This is very important as you are dealing with a person of value. There is the tendency to disrespect them as you get closer, do all you can to avoid that. Learn to respect his views, respect his privacy and little secrets shared with you. Place a lid on your lips to watch your words that they are not rude. Send token gifts while showing genuine honour.
- Growth is not a choice, it is a must. Once you subscribe to a mentoring process, you are ready to grow. Failure to exhibit any significant improvement is nothing but a discouragement to your mentor and perhaps a fault in the process which should be reexamined. Your growth gladdens your mentor and relieves him of work as time progresses.
- Faithfulness is required which includes loyalty, honesty, and truthfulness. You cannot afford to be double faced while dealing with a person of integrity. If your mentor knows you are insincere, they will cut off the relationship. A mentor is not perfect but the sincerity a relationship requires must be present. Accept the fact that he is well intentioned and deal with him with absolute sincerity.
- Show gratitude and avoid premature solicitation. A guy once requested that I mentor him, I oblige. Every call or SMS I got from him afterwards was a request for money. The day I rebuked him, he cut off the relationship. Premature solicitation has ruined many relationships. Accepting to mentor you already come at a huge cost to your mentor more than you can afford. Never take the relationship for granted. Understand when your mentor is too busy to attend to you. Don’t join others to vilify him. You can read about tips for mentoring.