How to ask for help
Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction. - John Crosby
Being mentored does not mean getting a free ride to your destination, it means getting the right direction and being able to navigate your way to the destination. The concept of mentorship is to be seen with a broader perspective.
It has more to do with experience and wisdom than age. A mentor would be someone who is your confidant and whom you can repose your faith in and ask for help when needed. They will guide you toward the best possible recourses known to them and be your go-to person.
Whether in a specific profession or a new phase of life, you could use the help of a mentor, to get insight from their journey and to learn from their mistakes.
If provided with this opportunity, availing it would be a wise choice. Sweating about seeming needy and desperate won’t take you anywhere. A true mentor would love to lend a helping hand to you and since it is all about getting lessons and guidance, do what you feel is the best for you.
Here are a few ways that may help you approach a mentor and ask for help:
Know your expectations
You first need to know what you wish to get from this mentorship. What are your objectives, intentions, and expectations? Then only you can look for a person who could productively guide you through your journey.
Clearly chalking out your considerations will help form a connection that is not forced or unnecessary.
Find a mentor
Usually, finding a mentor from a close network is a better approach as it is more credible for you as well as for the mentor since both of you are going to commit your time toward the mentorship.
Not every accomplished person in your industry can be a good mentor to you; therefore, you can conduct some prior research, attend events, and see with whom you can actually share a good rapport.
While approaching, it’s better to be mindful about what the other person is indicating, whether they are interested in taking it further or want to pull the plug and act accordingly.
Mentorship is a two-way road where even the mentor has something to gain. It is usually done in furtherance of personal values and honing leadership skills. Therefore, being respectful and supportive to them will cater to uplifting their spirit as well.
It would be assuring for a mentor to know that you want to take the mentorship seriously by all means. Show them that you are driven and convey your willingness and keenness towards the same.
Hence, don’t have a dormant approach after finding a mentor and get involved in it full-heartedly because time is money and neither of you would want to be prodigal about it. Mentorship is not about excusing your own efforts or responsibilities but about learning, unlearning, and growing.
Appreciate their efforts
Showing regular appreciation to your mentor for their guidance and support will validate their efforts and assure them that they are being of help.
A mentor who is guiding their mentee would want them to succeed and, therefore, would provide the best that they can. Hence, appreciation can be their takeaway from the mentorship.
All in all, know how not to find a mentor, detach from your ego, and ask for help
Knowing how to find a mentor is as important as knowing how to keep a mentor and knowing how not to find a mentor. As far as the former is concerned, the consistency and magnitude of your efforts will go a long way in retaining a good relationship with your mentor.
And for the latter, you wouldn’t want to find a mentor just for the sake of it. Not anybody, regardless of how eminent they are, can be suitable to be your mentor or vice versa.
Mentorship has a personal touch to it which involves the comradeship between two people.
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Frequently asked questions
1. How do I ask a mentor for help?
- To approach a mentor, firstly have a clear understanding of what you wish to learn or what you find yourself troubled with. Clear communication is essential in mentorship. It will help the mentor have a precise idea and provide the requisite help
2. What is the right way to find a mentor?
- One of the most efficient ways of finding a mentor is to send a brief email to the person. You may start by admiring their work, extending your gratitude, and then lay down the areas you would like their guidance in.
3. What can a mentor help you with?
- A mentor can help you in various spheres of life or any specific facet, you want guidance in. This help can be with respect to profession and career or academics or identifying interests and setting goals.
4. How long should a mentorship program last?
- Usually, a mentorship program goes for a minimum of six months. However, the duration of your program depends on your goals and your rapport with the mentor. There are mentorship programs that even last a lifetime.
5. What do you expect from a mentor?
- A mentor is not supposed to spoonfeed, but only to guide and help you broaden your horizons. He/she will facilitate your thinking and hopefully be a catalyst to good decision-making.