Having a mentor can be the best thing that can happen to you and your business.
When you have someone who knows the way, shows the way and leads the way, you’re staring at a huge gift that can impact your life in ways you cannot imagine.
But having a mentor can also be your worst nightmare.
Mostly, mentees lack the right questions to ask their mentors. Even if they have serious knowledge gaps, they find it difficult to articulate their questions to elicit the right response.
Mentors are also human beings. There is no guarantee they are going to read beyond your poorly structured question and get to the heart of the issue. They are not psychic either.
Which is why your ability to ask the right questions will be a priceless determinant of your learning and eventual success.
In this article, I’ll not only show you the right kind of questions to ask, but I will also show you 3 kinds of questions you should avoid asking a mentor.
1. How-Did-You-Get-Here Questions
I get this kind of question a lot. And I wonder if the person is asking for the road map I followed or the one I would advise that they follow.
You see, I’m a much different Elisha Mamman from 20 years ago. Except for stories’ sake, learning the bit-sized details about how I started may not profit you today. The reason is, with what I know now, I would probably follow a much different route.
As a mentee, what you should ask is “how would you do it differently if you were to start all over?” The difference may be subtle, but the results can be astounding. Try it!
2. For Money
Money changes the dynamics of a relationship. What you don’t want to do, as a mentee, is ask your mentor for money.
Remember, your mentor has put in his/her time and attention to get you going. You don’t want to complicate things by being an Oliver Twist here. If anything, enter a mentoring relationship with the hope to give. Enter to be a blessing to your mentor in the best way possible.
It doesn’t have to be money. You can use your skill or ability to meet a need your mentor may or may not even be aware of.
Remember, mentors are human beings. They have needs too.
Be the person they can remember as a solution provider, not a liability.
3. Step-by-Step Questions
The last thing you want to do is send your mentor wracking his/her brain to remember long-gone facts to answer your questions.
Step-by-step questions are not ideal for two reasons. Mentors are high fliers. They are concerned with big-picture stuff, not the bit and pieces. Besides, business and life are so dynamic that what worked for them may not work for you.
So quit the A-B-C question and keep it centred on issues that talk more about the big picture.
No mentor wants to answer questions about how much you should save monthly to buy your next house. You can figure that out by yourself.
What you can ask them is about systems to help you save money consistently. Do you get the idea?
You might also like: 5 Reasons Why You Need a Mentor
Questions are the seed for answers. If you learn to listen and observe, you will never run short of the right questions.
As you ask your questions, focus on what they would do differently. Avoid asking for money and spare your mentor the step-by-step questions.
When you do this, you make yourself a mentee worth their time and effort.