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 about someone he was going to mentor: “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 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 or impress them.
#5 – I Always Send A Note/Gift Saying Thanks.
Anytime someone gives me time I will send them a Starbucks gift card or a restaurant gift card–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!