5 Ways to Benefit From a Mentor Relationship Published November 29, 2018 | By Achim Neumann, President A great mentor is something everyone needs in business. It doesn’t matter if you’re an entrepreneur or a business leader, getting advice from someone that’s already been in the same situation is priceless. You’ll always have questions on whether or not you’re performing well, or if your business is growing the way it should be. A mentor can help understand the core issues and really ensure that you’ll succeed long term. However, finding an actual mentor isn’t as straightforward. Here are a few tips for when you’re having the first conversation with the person you think might be the ideal mentor for you be it they are a business broker in New Jersey or a librarian in Connecticut, you have to think who is a mentor in your own eyes.. Don’t be afraid to even ask Without actually asking what you have intended to ask, can you really get a satisfying answer? Of course not, which is why having the initial courage to ask the important questions can really cement the relationship. There are plenty of situations where people dance around an issue but never actually ask their questions. The worst that could happen is that you don’t get an answer. If that happens then you just move on. Don’t waste time Being inefficient with your own and others’ time is extremely disrespectful. However, that doesn’t mean that you should rush. Whenever you’re setting up a call with the potential mentor, always make sure to create a good atmosphere. Set up a room where you can talk clearly, and always have spare time before the call. You don’t want to end up walking and talking at the same time. At best that’s a bad impression, at worst it could potentially leave lasting effects on your reputation. Be prepared about both the topic and the person Whenever you’re discussing business topics with the mentor, always have your homework done ahead of time. Be aware of how they approach the topics at hand. Don’t just search them online for 5 minutes and then start a conversation. Ideally, you want to do as much research as you can beforehand. Read their articles and books if you can first. The more you know about your future mentor the easier it’ll be for you to connect about the topics. Figure out what to talk about besides the initial topics Creating a meaningful conversation is ideally the best thing you can with a potential mentor. Investing in conversation skills is certainly a smart move. Don’t just ask a simple question that can be Googled immediately. Focus on talking about related subjects too. If you make the conversation immersive, that probably means that you’re on the right track. Create a dynamic interaction This means to always try to give as much as you take. It’s a nuanced approach to an already serious matter. Simply asking your questions and then walking away is never enough. Try to add something to the conversation yourself. Something that the mentor could latch on to so that there will be an actual interaction, instead of something like an interview. Being polite is something to never forget while you’re deep in a conversation. Even if you have to end it early, be as professional as possible. Most important of all, don’t derail from the subject at hand, especially if you’ve already settled what you’re going to talk about.