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You have a Mentor, that's Great! But are you a good Mentee?


According to a study by Olivet Nazarene University, 71% of Fortune 500 companies have mentoring programs but still, only 37% of the surveyed professionals have a Mentor currently. Finding and choosing a Mentor is certainly a significant aspect and there might be an umpteen number of articles on that. But let’s say you are one of those fortunate ones who already have a Mentor, but are you being a Good Mentee? Here are some of the Qualities of a Good Mentee from my experience of being a Mentee myself:

Trust Your Mentor:


Are you someone who often feels: “Is this guidance right for me?” Well, then this is for you!

One of the things that I pride in having learned at the early stages of my career and has been the foundation block of all that I have achieved today and the Relationship I share with my Mentor Sujit Lalwani Sir, is this aspect of ‘Trust’.

If you are sure and know that you have the right Mentor with you, the first and foremost aspect that would matter is going to be the Trust Factor on your Mentor. It wouldn’t just matter in the terms of your relationship with your Mentor but also the Speed of Progress in your Life.

Let’s accept, with the information overload that we all have, one of the things many of us do face is not being able to Trust someone on their guidance. (I am specifically referring here the case of a person outside your first circle being your Mentor; there are several others like Parents, Elders in the Family, Friends who might want to guide or you might consider them as your Mentor but we will reserve that discussion for some other point in time).

We need to Trust our Mentor when they guide. We should believe that he/she is guiding us with their experience and for our better future. With doubts in our mind regarding the credibility of the guidance, we might not be able to take the guidance as seriously as it could have or should have been taken and not experience the fullest potential of the results. Loss is Ours!

Having Trust is starkly different from blind-followership which is something I’m not advocating here.


Open-mindedness towards the guidance:

Have you come across a person in your life who has this world-famous ‘I know-it-all’ attitude? Trust me; such people would be a perfect example of what a Mentee should not be.

Though we might have read and come across the points that are being shared by our Mentor in an article or a video, if we want to experience the results of guidance to the fullest, we need to press that CTRL+A and Delete button on the information on our mind and receive the guidance with a completely open mind.

Even the Mentors would feel like sharing more when the Mentees are listening wholeheartedly and having an open-mind to learn.

Let’s say your Mentor is sharing a valuable point and you go like “Yeah, I know this, I have read it/watched a video”; that is a big Turn Off for the Mentors and they might not be keen in sharing more on that particular topic. (Can you recall any such experience already?)

We must know that, though we might have come across that information already, it is being shared from Experience by your Mentor. Be open to learning by asking more questions about how they implemented that and what are the challenges and the nuances of it. Be genuinely interested in learning!

Reflect on what has been shared:


Let not the Time and Guidance shared by your Mentor go in vain. Just know that the level of interest your Mentor has in guiding you is directly proportional to the seriousness with which you take it.

Once your Mentor has guided you in a particular aspect, it could be related to Work or dealing with the Challenges posed by Life, go back and reflect on the lesson and deepen it. Only after we have done that is when the probability of it coming out in implementation would be more. Else,
I’m sure that you are aware of the fact that within 1 hour we forget 50% of the new information and 90% within a week.

Don’t make your Mentor meet the same person every time because you would have forgotten what was shared and hence hadn’t implemented and resulted in a no change or improvement in that period. They will be happy to meet an evolved version of you each time.

Immediate Implementation:

The most pivotal aspect is the Implementation of guidance. We often procrastinate taking Action. If you are someone who wants to climb the ladder of Success faster, the only way is to do it by taking an immediate Action on what was shared.

It could have been on better performance at your work or guidance on Relationships or the next set of skills you need to develop or the Startup Idea or any other aspect of your life, immediate implementation is the key. One of the things that I learned from my Mentor is ‘Do it Now!’

Sharing the progress at every step:

This might take a miss in many of the cases because we aren’t trained in Communication in the early stages of Life. I was fortunate to have learned this from my Mentor Sujit Lalwani Sir of how important it is to keep your Mentors updated regularly with the steps being taken with respect to their guidance (individually/professionally or in the Business) and the progress with every step. The course correction needs to happen in the run-time. An update after the completion or after a long gap would be less relevant for both you and Your Mentor! Discuss with your Mentor and arrive at the time interval in which an update has to be shared.

Being Honest:


Being Honest is very crucial for the genuineness of the relationship with your Mentor. There is no point in having your Ego in front of your Mentor or trying to save our image in front of the Mentor by sharing incorrect data of what has been done and what has not been done. Remember, if we are not honest, the Mentor is not at a Loss, we are!

Rule No.1: Your Mentors are always Right; Rule No.2: Never forget Rule No.1

This is the rule of Thumb whenever you feel doubtful. Just believe that the guidance of your Mentor concerning any aspect of your life is for your benefit because Mentors share a lesson from their experience and there exists no other better guidance. Go behind it and implement it to the fullest. The results would always be in your favor. Doubts will hinder the progress and hence, don’t let the doubts sprout in your mind.

A disclaimer that this is applicable in the case of you having chosen a right Mentor for yourself; but even otherwise, you generally don’t lose anything by applying this. Different people might have different experiences but I hope that this adds some value in your Life. If you have had any experiences or if there is anything you could relate to, I would love to know in the comments below.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 18th August 2020.
Kunal Jain
Kunal Jain works as an Outreach Specialist at iU

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