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10 Ways To Make The Most From A Mentor Relationship

Over the last twelve months, I have mentored and engaged with over 500 startups in Israel. When you do something over and over, you begin to see certain patterns.

The mHealth Israel Conference on June 29 in Jerusalem, provides an opportunity to meet with a variety of mentors in special fields of expertise.

Each mentoring session is ten minutes, where you will sit with three experts in their field.

We’ll have experts from a variety of disciplines and background in finance, coding, business development, legal, regulation, and strategic partnerships.

This is a unique aspect to the conference, for you are getting specifically selected experts in a fields that related directly to our program and doing so in a speed-dating like session.

Before you come, here’s ten tips for you to consider in the process of this, or any type of mentor relationship.

Come prepared and be ready to listen. Here’s my top ten tips to help you have a meaningful and beneficial experience.

1. Research who you are meeting with.

Do your homework. Do your research. Go on LinkedIn. Search for articles. Find out and dig into who you are meeting with.

2. Look for guidance, not just answers.

Not everything is yes or no; or black and white. Ask for answers, but go deeper. Seek guidance. Maybe you just need to go a different path and the mentor could point you in the right direction.

3. Make it a two-way street.

Look at this session as a way to exchange positive energy with each other. You could even wind up learning from each other. That’s where the magic, in a short session can happen — and possibly lead to something else.

4. Ask you mentor if there is someone else they could refer you to.

It’s not what they may or may not know, but who they may know. A mentor may be able to steer you in a new way and connect you to someone they know who could be of even more help to you.

5. Come prepared.

Make sure you know what you are looking for. Don’t just show up with an idea. Come with facts and insights. And start this process with point #1.

6. Inspire your mentor.

You may have something compelling for your mentor or a point of view they have not thought of before. This is not a one way street. It’s an exchange of energy. So energize your mentor and exchange some startup love.

7. Listen.

And I mean really listen.

You are taking up someone’s time.

And if you show that you are listening, you expressing gratitude and thanks.

8. Take notes.

We also do this in different ways.

Paper is fine.

Bring your tablet.

Even on your smart phone.

Write stuff down.

Don’t depend on memory.

When you put it down in writing you are committing to something.

9. Offer to follow up.

If you’re mentor gives you a lead, an idea, but it needs some follow up, take the lead.

You do the work; not the mentor.

Maybe your mentor recommends you look into something.

Do it .

Follow up.

It shows you care.

And that you do what you will say what you will do.

Makes a big difference.

10. Ask if there is something you can do for your mentor

Do you know someone who might help the mentor who is helping you? Do you have a skill or an insight where you can add value and return and express gratitude with helping your mentor?

Re-visit point #3.

Alan Weinkrantz is the Brand Ambassador to Israel on behalf of the Rackspace Startups program and serving as the conference’s Story Teller in Chief.

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