Yesterday he had another awesome post - this one on his 5 personal rules for meeting with a mentor. I couldn't agree with what he said more. These are things I have found to be valuable in meeting with those who have mentored me as well as things that I greatly appreciate in various people that I have mentored. It sure does make the experience much better and I think it's a major key to a long lasting mentorship, versus something that burns out because the mentee simply doesn't respect the mentor as they should. Alright, here we go with Perry's insights:
Over the years I have developed five rules for meeting with a mentor that I would love to share here today…you may agree or disagree, all I know is that they have worked for me.
#1 - I Always Adjust To Their Schedule–ALWAYS!
When I am attempting to set up an appointment with someone I want to meet with–I always ask them (or their assistant) to throw two or three dates at me that is most convenient for them…and then I adjust my schedule to make the meeting happen.
I NEVER send them the times I want and then ask them to adjust their schedules. I am the one who wants the meeting…and if they are available to me I will bend over backwards to hang out with them.
#2 - I Am Always Early For The Appointment
If I am driving from out of town I always make sure I arrive around 30 minutes early. If I get their TOO early then I will find a coffee shop–OR break out a book (ALWAYS have a book with you.)
Usually I will arrive at the person’s office to meet them about 15 minutes early…and quite a few times the person I am meeting with has been ready, thus giving me “bonus time!”
#3 - I Have A List Of At Least Five Questions That I Want To Ask.
I remember John Maxwell saying to me once, “I will mentor you, but you have to ask the questions. I am not preparing a lesson for you…YOU guide this meeting. If you want to know something–ASK. If you don’t ask anything then we don’t really have anything to talk about.”
SO…anytime I meet with a mentor (especially JOHN) I am LOADED with questions. Sometimes I get them all answered…sometimes I don’t…but I NEVER walk into a meeting without having a list of what I would like to know.
#4 - I Don’t Talk About Myself Unless They Ask.
When I meet with a mentor I don’t spend 30 minutes telling them about myself, my daily routine and how good I think I am. I ask questions and then SHUT UP! If I disagree I do not argue. If they ask me a question then I will answer…if not then I will keep on asking them my questions. They didn’t ask to meet with me…I wanted to meet with them–TO LEARN from them, not debate them.
#5 - I Always Send A Note/Gift Saying Thanks.
I haven’t done this until recently…but anytime someone gives me time I will send them a Starbucks gift card or a restaurant gift card–just to thank them for the time. (And I jot them about a four sentence note–NOT A BOOK, but a note.)
Those are my rules…hope they help!