Are you a mentee? If so, how active a part do you play in your mentoring…or do you leave it all up to your mentor to set the pace, choose what to work on, and even determine the times when you meet, whether that meeting is in person or via Skype, FaceTime, phone, or some other medium?

While your mentor may be more conversant with what the necessary workplace skills are in general, you are—or at least, you should be—more aware of where your deficiencies lie. Your mentor also has no way of knowing—unless you tell him/her—what situations have cropped up at work lately that pointed up, to you, specific areas in which you need help.

And if a situation is of the moment, a previously set appointment with your mentor for a week from next Tuesday isn’t going to cut it. You need an additional mentoring session now.

Your work is cut out for you right from the first session. Arrive at the meeting (again, whether in person or not) conversant with your mentor’s background and strengths, and ready with a list of your own weaknesses and other areas that need help.

Show up on time for all meetings. Totally focus on the meeting, and not on your grocery list, to-do list, list of phone calls you need to return, or upcoming vacation plans. Don’t just “phone it in.” Be fully present and fully participatory.

Agree to meetings at regularly scheduled intervals, but don’t hew slavishly to that schedule if a need arises between scheduled sessions to talk over with your mentor a situation that has just arisen.

If your mentor is truly helping you, thank him or her and give him/her specifics. We all like to know when we’re doing a good job…teachers included.

If your mentor isn’t helping you, don’t just keep on keeping on. You have two options: Tell your mentor why you feel you’re not getting enough out of the mentoring, or search for another mentor. Mentoring is a relationship. Someone can possess excellent knowledge and still not have a personality or a teaching approach that meshes well with you. Someone can be a great mentor and still not be the best mentor for you.

You’ll find a great selection of mentors on Book a Mentor. Why not look over our choice of mentors now by going to

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