How to ask someone to be your mentor

I have a suggestion for everyone who has picked someone that they want to be their mentor.

Ask

Seriously.

I am always amazed when people say that they have been working up the courage to ask me for a number of months.

It makes me wonder, am I that hard to talk to? 

If you think you are the only one afraid to ask, I’m happy to inform you that you are not.

A good idea is to ask for something very short and easy to refuse — that makes it more comfortable  for everyone.   If they don’t want to do it, they don’t feel too badly — it wasn’t a big ask.  If you are told “no”, it’s easy to regroup, as it’s not a big rejection.

It should go something like this:

Ask for 15-20 minutes to get some advice — don’t throw down asking for mentorship, that’s like proposing on the first date.

If that first meeting goes well, then ask if s/he would mind a more regular arrangement.  Depending on the level of the person, this might be 1/2 hour a few times a year or at most monthly.

Again, make it easy.     Easy is the brand you are looking for as a mentee (note: not desperate or needy).

Good luck asking, I’ll try to write more about what to do when they say “yes”, because I know they will.

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