6 Questions Before You Get a Mentor/Coach

I’ve written about the importance of adding value to peoples lives. I’ve also written about the importance of mentoring the next generation. Today I want to shift the conversation to you as the mentee.


Finding mentors or coaches has not been an easy processes.

There’s been times where I’ve reached out to some individuals and they have flat out said no because of time or other commitments. Then there’s been times where I’ve made the connection, anticipated good things, only to have the mentor come across uninterested or unengaged.

I’ve discovered that the success of a mentor/mentee relationship has a lot to do with the mentee. Here’s why.

  • Leaders are busy, so they don’t have time to coddle you.
  • Leaders have a lot on their mind, so they’re not going to be thinking about you or your issues all day.
  • Leaders expect results, so if you are harping on the same issues over and over they will soon disengage.
  • Leaders are organized, so they expect you to have a growth plan.

Because of my experience, I’ve have created a mentorship success plan. This plan helps me, connect with the right leaders and ensures that I make the most of our interaction without wasting either of our time.

My mentorship success plan answers six questions.

  1. Why do I need need a mentor or coach? With this question I’m able to identify exactly what areas I need growth in.
  2. Who has experience in this area that I can learn from? Now I get to identify leaders or individuals who come with a level of authority and experience.
  3. What is the best approach to learning from them? Here I’m trying to determine how I can glean from this individual. Will I need to meet this leader in person, over the phone or video conference. If the leader is someone inaccessible in these areas, do they have a podcast or blog I can read?
  4. When is the best time to meet? In this question, I determine what times or how often these desired meetings should be. I need to be flexible here because the leader may have different times in mind that are more convenient for him/her.
  5. How long will I need this individual? This question is helpful but not as important as those above. Like I said before, leaders are busy. Some may ask how long I expect them to mentor or coach me. It would be good for me to have an answer.
  6. What is my growth goal? I simply need to base the answer of this question in relation to Question 1. At the end of a specified period of time, how do I want to have grown?

After these six questions have been answered, only then do I approach the leader to mentor or coach me. The response has been phenomenal when I approach leaders with this plan. They are more than willing to serve as a mentor or coach when they know there’s a plan.

Underdogs, know that having a mentor or coach gives them an extra edge. This mentorship success plan will put you on the right path to reach your growth goals with your mentor/coach.

What would you add to this list? Leave your suggestions in the comment section below.