I trust you know the value of a mentor. I’ll take for granted you also know how to create a connection with someone. If not, read my Meaningful Connection exercise and my social skills exercise series. So I’ll start at a point where you have at least a rudimentary dialog with someone whose mentorship will help you.
Step 1: Ask them for advice
Ask them for advice on something that matters to both of you.
After enough time passes for you to act on the advice, go to step 2. It helps if you act on the advice, but not necessary
Step 2: Tell them how acting on the advice went and ask more advice
If you acted on the advice and it worked out, tell them that.
If you did and it didn’t, tell them that.
If you didn’t act on it and you had a reason, tell them that.
If you were lazy and just didn’t act, you may not earn their mentorship.
Don’t forget to ask them for new advice. The more times you act on advice of theirs, even if you don’t follow it, the more you’ll motivate them to give you advice again. Eventually they become a mentor.
As long as you keep following up, they’ll keep giving you advice. Over time the relationship will develop.
It works every time.
Why it works
Think of when someone respectfully asks your advice. You feel honored and flattered. At least I do. After you advise them you want them to act on your advice and, if so, you want to learn how it went. So when they return to tell you how it went, you want to hear.
If they act on it you consider them intelligent and a good judge of character—after all, they found you and used their resources, even if only time, to act on your advice.
If, while you’re feeling honored and flattered and you’re impressed with their acting on your advice, they ask you more advice, you feel yet more honored and flattered and inclined to give them more advice. They’ve led you to enjoy mentoring them.
Over time, the relationship inevitably grows.
Learn to make Meaningful Connections
with a simple, effective exercise from my book, Leadership Step by Step.
- Step by step instructions
- Video examples of me and Marshall Goldsmith
- An excerpt from my book