The big craze these days is for women to find a mentor who will help them get to the next level in their careers. I personally have made the mistake of outright asking someone to be my mentor and got the awkward umm… I don’t know you that well. I’m in the middle of reading Sheryl Sandbergs new book “Lean In” and she addresses the topic of mentorship wonderfully. To summarize her findings it is best that you don’t just go out and ask someone to be your mentor, instead ask them to help you with a small problem or small task and then work up to the bigger ones.
Personally asking for advice or help in my business is something that I am not great at but I’m getting better at. I have found however that it is easier to ask for help from the people I have played golf with.
When we play golf we have 4 uninterrupted hours, which is a lot of time to have to come up with things to talk about. Usually a round starts off with exchanging names, professions, where you live, where you are from and a little about your family. Then, for the next 6 holes you usually talk about more personal stuff ie. what your hobbies are, what you enjoy most -this is also a great time for you to ask for help or advice on something.
For example, I was paired up with a high level executive from a billion dollar company and at hole #8, I started to ask him some hypotheticals about his company that could help with Highheelgolfer. His answers helped me get a better inside look at my target market and I got him to help without asking him to be my mentor.
Really, if you think about it, the golf course can be the best place to find out more about a person and get some really great advice on how to get ahead in your career. I’m sure there are countless people who would give their left leg for 5 minutes with this guy and I had 4 hours!
So the moral of this post is to slowly work your way into finding a mentor, and instead of going out for coffee or asking questions over email, try playing a round of golf or even go to the driving range to build a better mentoring relationship.