Linda Morana, CYBF Mentor-in-Residence, firstname.lastname@example.org
Entrepreneurs…when was the last time you updated your mentor on:
- What you’ve learned from them, and how you’ve implemented these lessons;
- How and why you’ve actioned advice they offered;
- Which advice you’ve decided not to action and why.
You may not be aware of it, but this type of feedback is golden, and it has the potential to solidify, re-energize and strengthen your mentoring relationship. “But how?” you ask…
Feedback informs mentors about the value they are providing
At the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, mentors from across Canada tell us they volunteer to add value to an entrepreneur, their business and their community. They’re in it for you, the entrepreneur. Without feedback however, mentors are sometimes left wondering whether they are providing you appropriate value. As a result, the mentoring experience can quickly become vague and your mentor may lose interest and/or enthusiasm for your mentoring relationship. Solution: provide your mentor with regular updates and ensure the feedback loop is ongoing.
Demonstrating accountability strengthens your mentoring relationship
Providing your mentor with regular updates and feedback on your mentoring discussions sends the message loud and clear that you follow-through; that you are trustworthy; and that you are accountable. Mentors want to know their time and efforts are being respected, and by providing them with information on the outcomes of your discussions, they can see you take their coaching seriously. To reinforce this message, be sure to also discuss why you chose not to implement specific advice they offered. By doing so, they will understand how you carefully considered their input and actively chose not to implement the advice for sound reasons.
Just as you entrepreneurs search for feedback, so too do mentors. Avoid nebulous mentoring by keeping one another informed about progress and changes. This can be accomplished by sending bi-weekly or monthly updates on progress towards your goals; creating a video blog to show how you’ve implemented ideas from brainstorming sessions; and starting your mentoring sessions by discussing the deliverables from your last meeting. Follow these tips and you’re sure to revitalize and enhance the mentoring relationship for the benefit of both parties involved.