Mentorship sessions are unique learning opportunities. Depending on your mentor’s background, you may pose specific questions relating to what you wish to accomplish as an entrepreneur and what you would like to take away from the mentorship. Keep in mind that your mentor is providing you with their valuable time and therefore the session must also be a learning source for them so, make the most of it!
Diego Noriega, Endeavor Entrepreneur and Mentor, provides us with Four Tips to maximize the impact of your mentorship sessions.
Topics: Clearly state the challenges you want to resolve. Ask yourself a thousand and one times if the topic you are focusing on is the most important value add you can gain from the mentorship.
Timeline: First of all, you must understand how much time the mentor has for you and based on that plan accordingly. What can the entrepreneur learn? Beware of the time of your pitch, before starting it’s best to ask how much time your mentor has for your mentorship.
Questions: Organize key questions that will help solve your challenges. Write down questions and revise them with your co-founder or team to construct the most insightful questions.
Roles: If a co-founder or team member will be joining the mentorship session, organize the roles that you will be taking. Who will be asking the questions? Writing down feedback? Keeping time? The last role about time management is more important than it originally seems. Be cognizant that adrenaline may make you lose track of time.
Recording: Ask your mentor if recording is ok. You can learn 30% more from hearing mentorship sessions again.
- The Value of Mentorship for the Mentee and Mentor
The value of mentorship for the entrepreneur: With solid preparation, an entrepreneur can find a lot of value from mentorship. However, having one-sided mentorship sessions may lead entrepreneurs to not see the value in mentoring entrepreneurs.
The value of mentorship for the mentor: Allow your mentor to express their opinions and focus on consistent topics throughout the session. Having a dialogue instead of overwhelming your mentor with all the questions you prepared may prove more effective than getting surface level answers to all your questions.
- The Process of Mentorship Sessions
These are the general steps every mentorship session follows:
Tasks for the entrepreneur to complete
Schedule a follow up session
Always take notes throughout the session. In fact, have a notepad or not taking software open with all the questions prepared beforehand. Here are some more tips regarding this topic:
- Write down one or two words that reflect the entire session and can easily help you remember the session
- I always have a notebook handy even if I have a computer. I jot down all ideas. I do this regardless of whether or not I have another colleague taking notes.
- Take note of each task and “to dos”
- Reread ideas that were jotted down during the session throughout the day. By the end of it I can read and remember the exact structure I want to develop. This helps establish focus and creates a routine download of ideas to paper.
- Post Mentorship Session Homework
Give yourself time after a mentorship session to follow through with the tasks you were assigned. Keep your mentor up-to-date with your progress so that they, in turn, can feel excited about your improvements. Mentors should feel that their time is being spent wisely, that their mentees value it, and that their mentees have learned from it. Do your best to have your mentor feel this fulfillment and together generate greater value for each other.
This article is a translation of “¿Qué son las mentorías y cómo aprovecharlas de la mejor manera?” by Endeavor Chile. Translation by Endeavor Staff member Eric Marroquin with additional support from Laura Ginebra.