You’ve probably heard, and we have spoken about it here on KellyFairtheMentor.com, about the importance of mentorship. This isn’t just for youth who need guidance on future education and career aspirations. Mentorship is appropriate for people of all ages and all stages of their various careers. So, if you’ve made it through the initial stages of identifying and connecting with a mentor, the next part is actually learning from them.
And here is the tricky part. What do you actually ask your mentor? Where do you even start to glean all that you can from their experiences and knowledge? It’s a tough question to answer. Which is why we were excited to see this list of 40 Questions to Ask A Mentor on Forbes.
They suggest asking questions in 4 categories:
Stories. Focus on experiences you can learn from, such as lessons learned and pathways to their current success. Remember, you have as much to learn from how they navigate failure and barriers as much as you do their wins.
Situations. This is where you can get specific about skills and tasks your mentor uses in their career and daily life. Perhaps you want to know how they tackled a problem at work? Or what skills they recommend for their current position?
Self-Awareness. Now this is where it can get tricky. Perhaps save these questions for a couple of meetings into your mentor relationship. These types of questions allow you to learn more about yourself: How do others perceive you? How do coworkers see you as a leader? What strengths can your mentor identify?
Skill-Building. Use this as an opportunity to build your own skills. Ask your mentor about what you can do to improve. Be candid and honest with yourself. If you know you get nervous speaking in public, perhaps your mentor can offer advice.
Remember, everyone can benefit from a mentor. Don’t be afraid to network and reach out to people you admire. And when you get the chance, be intentional with your questions.