Thursday, March 20, 2008

Five Rules For Meeting With Your Mentor

[From Perry Noble dot com by Perry]

I have had the privilege of being mentored by some incredible leaders, some you would know, others you might not – but nonetheless, God has used them to teach me SO MUCH about life and ministry.

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 cardn – 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!

1 comment:

Karl Laws said...

A good mentor is priceless. Someone that is willing to be mentored is just as priceless. But the key to being mentored is throwing out the rubber stamp. The one thing I want out of a mentor is someone who will not rubber stamp my thoughts and ideas. I want someone who will affirm me when I need affirmed and challenge me when I need challenged.