There’s no doubt that having a mentor in the workplace is beneficial. Mentorship can provide an opportunity to learn new skills, serve as a feedback mechanism for continuous improvement, and is overall a great way to further your career. During Autodesk’s Month of Mentorship, we asked our leaders to share some tips on how to get the most out of the relationship with your mentor.
Appoint your board of directors.
Searching for a mentor can be tough. Sam Ramji, Vice President, Cloud Platform, recommends that you think about your mentors like you would your board of directors. Who do you want to appoint? You can really only select a few directors, and you should think about your mentors in the same way. An effective relationship can only happen with a few people at a time, so choose carefully.
Get a realistic view.
A mentor’s job is to be a coach, a guide, and to say the difficult things that others are not willing to say. A mentor should care more about your potential than your feelings. In the words of CEO Andrew Anagnost, “sometimes your critics can be your best mentors.” Critics allow you to get a realistic view of your performance because there is always a kernel of truth in each piece of criticism.
Do the heavy lifting.
Ray Savona, Vice President, Customer Success, recommends that mentees do the heavy lifting in the relationship. Though it should be a transactional relationship for both parties, you should be doing the scheduling, structuring the conversation, and figuring out what kind of feedback you’re looking for.
Lastly, be intentional.
As you meet with your mentors, Vice President of Finance Debbie Clifford encourages you to be transparent about the problems that are on your plate. Remember, mentors aren’t there to solve your problems. Ultimately you, as the mentee, need to make the decision and getting advice from your mentor is one data point to get there.