Principles for a Successful Mentoring Relationship
How to get started:
Prayerfully read through the biographies of AMEN members below who have volunteered to serve as mentors. Ask God to impress upon your heart which mentor(s) to contact, and read this guide for advice on how to get the most out of your mentoring relationship.
As you consider reaching out to an AMEN mentor, here are some principles to keep in mind to maximize your mentorship experience. It is our prayer that, as a result of being mentored by one or more AMEN members, you will enter into a closer walk with God and strengthen your conviction to serve Him with your career.
Pray for God to lead you to the right mentor
- God knows which mentor is right for you, so ask Him to show you.
- Read over all of the mentor bios, try to talk to them in person if you get the chance, and pray for God to impress upon your heart which mentor(s), if any, to reach out to.
You must chase your mentor
- As in any mentoring relationship, the mentee should chase the mentor. This means you need to take the initiative to reach out to your mentor, to schedule meetings, and to make things happen.
- Because in most cases your mentor will live a long distance from you, your meetings will likely be conducted via phone or video chat. You should arrange for these details unless your mentor offers to do it.
- You must decide how frequently you want to meet with your mentor and how long each session will be based on your need and his/her availability. It is best to schedule the next meeting at the end of each meeting.
- Don’t expect your mentor to anticipate your needs. Be clear about what you are looking to get out of the mentoring relationship and be intentional about how you spend your time with your mentor.
Respect your mentor’s time
- Your mentor is giving you the gift of his or her time and experience. Therefore, it is very important to respect their time. Be punctual for any meeting you arrange with your mentor, and make sure it ends in a timely fashion. If you have to reschedule, give as much notice as possible.
- Prepare for each meeting. Create an agenda for yourself regarding topics you would like to discuss or questions you have for your mentor.
- Take notes during your meetings so you can easily recall your mentor’s advice. If you hear something of value, write it down.
You will get out what you put in
- The more thought and effort you invest into your mentoring relationship, the more you will benefit from it.
- Pray for wisdom regarding the knowledge and advice you should seek from your mentor. You are being given an opportunity to learn from someone else’s experience. Do your best to maximize it.
It takes a village
- No single mentor will be able to guide you in every aspect of your life or career. One mentor may be able to give great advice regarding a specific specialty whereas another mentor may be better at providing guidance on your spiritual walk. Prayerfully seek out mentors for different aspects of your life, whether it be professional, personal, or spiritual.
- In general, it is best to have a main mentor who is your “life coach” and who you can go to with the “big picture” questions. Then, find one or more additional mentors to help guide you in more specific areas in which your main mentor may lack experience or skill.
When the chemistry is not there…
- Like any human relationship, a mentor and mentee may not “click” for reasons that are no one’s fault. This is perfectly understandable and is to be expected, but you do need to be honest with yourself if this happens so you do not waste your time or your mentor’s time.
- Because you as the mentee should be taking the initiative to schedule meetings with your mentor, you should stop scheduling meetings with mentors you do not connect with. AMEN mentors will typically work with multiple students, and they understand that mentees will continue to reach out based on their needs so no one will be offended if you stop reaching out.
- Mentors, no matter how accomplished they are, are human beings with faults of their own. Be careful not to put them on too high of a pedestal, and if they fail you in some way, be forgiving and understanding.
- Keep in mind that your ultimate mentor is God. Therefore, even if you do not find a mentor you connect with, you are not without a mentor in life.
“You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.”