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    10 Questions to ask a mentor

    First off, mentoring is a time-consuming process, so, for the person looking for a mentor, it's rude to assume someone would have the time, patience and interest to help with a startup business -- without at least some kind of compensation.

    Working with a mentor provides innumerable benefits; not only will you receive guidance, advice and help when trying to solve tough problems, you'll also be able to leverage your mentor's extended network of contacts for new partnerships, employees and clients.

    A mentor will act as a trusted confidant to their mentee over a flexible period of time. If you are thinking of finding a business mentor, you should be clear on what you can and cannot expect from them.

    Questions to ask a mentor

    To maximize the benefits of the relationship, come prepared for every conversation. It’s a way to show appreciation for your mentor and their time and commitment to you. Ultimately, both of you should leave every conversation feeling like it was time well spent. All it takes is a few minutes of thoughtful preparation.

    Here’s a list of questions that you may use to start a conversation with a potential mentor:

    1. How did you land your current role?

    2. Think back to five years ago. Did you envision this is where you would be?

    3. Can you tell me about a time when you had a difficult boss? How did you handle it?

    4. How did you learn to embrace failure?

    5. What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned and how is it valuable?

    6. Tell me about a recent setback and how you recovered?

    7. Was there ever a job position that you applied for and got, but you weren’t 100% qualified?

    8. Do you have a template that you use for long-range visioning and strategic planning?

    9. What new skills do I need to move ahead?

    10. How could I have communicated my idea more clearly?

    With these types of questions, you’ll never sit through another mentoring conversation wondering if the other person is finding the discussion useful.

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