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How We Communicate With Our Mentors (Hint: It’s Not Just Texting!)

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In this day and age of social media, Skype and GHOs some days it feels like we talk to no one face to face. But when it comes to meeting with your mentor, 26 percent of you said you usually only talk with your mentor about once a month though 35 percent of you manage to talk with them once a week, but 50 percent said you mostly interacted with them face to face when you did see them, according to the 2016 Levo Mentorship Survey. E-mail was a distant second at 23.3 percent followed by texting at 5.44 percent and using other digital tools like social media, Slack and Levo at 5.96 percent.

So now we know how often we are seeing mentors and how we are communicating them, but what is happening once we get them in conversation? Well, since your time is limited here are some tips.

1. Establish communication methods and frequency of contact from the beginning

It is good to set how you will communicate with them right from the beginning. Will it be mostly coffee meetings with emails? Or do you prefer long calls? You just want to respect your mentor’s time and not spring anything on them in the beginning.

2. Conversation topics

So you’ve got them now so what do you talk about? A good place to start is asking your mentor about how they got to where they are in their careers, what they would tell their younger selves and how they have dealt with failure. If you are looking for them to help you improve certain skills and help with tough situations (which 70 percent of you said is what your mentor has helped you with the most) then provide specific details and context.

3. Follow Up

After your session reflect on what you talk about it (it’s Ok to take notes!) and thank your mentor whether it is just a quick email or text.

Photo: Getty Images

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