#ShineItForward™ Tip: Connecting with Mentors
You've had your eye on a new mentor, but are having trouble connecting. It's a problem we've all faced, and thankfully, we've developed the following three strategies that will hopefully lead to you making contact.
1. Contact the mentor at least 2 different ways a total of 3 times.
Many mentees make initial contact, don't hear back, and then give up, assuming that the potential mentor was uninterested in the mentorship. In actuality, the mentor may not yet have had the chance to reply, or for the reason discussed next, never received your message. To prevent such miscommunication, contact the mentor at least once or twice more, importantly, using a different form of contact. For example, if an email was initially sent, next try calling the person directly or contacting the person's assistant.
2. Consider how the potential mentor best communicates.
Oftentimes, mentees initially make contact via LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram messenger. Such message may be quickly returned if you're trying to contact, say, an Influencer, who is frequently on social. Other professionals, however, like accountants or attorneys, may never check such messages, even if they participate in the network's "feed." Additionally, other ways of contacting the potential mentor, such as via a phone number or email address, are often readily available through Google, Contact Info. on the mentor's LinkedIn Profile, and their company's website. So, before you hit send, consider if the message is in the form that's best for you or that is most convenient for your intended audience (the potential mentor).
3. Kindness wins the day!
You likely have no idea why your potential mentor did not respond to your initial communication - whether they did not receive/see it, legitimately have not yet had time to respond to it, or for whatever reason, are uninterested in the mentorship. Even if it is the latter, while disappointing, you likely do not want to burn a bridge with someone you thought highly enough of to seek out as a mentor. The point being, when "following-up," don't disenfranchise the mentor by accusing them of "not responding the first time." Rather, show the person grace, and assume this may be the first message they are aware of receiving from you.
Hopefully these ideas lead you to your dream mentor. If not, however, not to worry - we'll be sharing additional tips over the weeks to come. And, further suggestions regarding forming meaningful mentoring relationships are included in The Business Case for Mentoring.
Speaking of which, do YOU have mentoring advice that should be shared with the SYS community? Please share your ideas with us by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter. We love hearing from you!
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