The attitude you bring to the table when you become a protégé can make or break a mentoring relationship. Think about the protégé a mentor would prefer to spend time with.
Someone who is cynical, gloomy, and distrustful, always looking for the next disaster in his daily life? Or someone who is confident, optimistic, and outgoing, always willing to tackle a problem and turn it into an opportunity?
A successful mentor-protégé relationship begins with a positive attitude. A positive attitude tells your mentor you want to improve and are interested in everything he wants to teach you. But how do you stay positive when you encounter problems, challenges, and mistakes?
To develop and maintain a positive attitude in a mentoring relationship you must practice positive behavior, eliminate negative thoughts, and use positive self-suggestion.
Practice positive behaviors
The first strategy to project a positive attitude is to practice positive behaviors. How you behave will directly influence the way your mentor interacts with you. When you practice positive behaviors and exhibit a positive attitude you become more approachable and benefit more from the mentoring relationship.
To maintain a positive attitude in every situation, you should practice the following positive behaviors:
- Establish realistic expectations with your mentor — Your mentor is most likely taking on the job of mentoring you as an add-on to her already busy schedule. Look to her as a guide; don’t expect her to do your work for you. Ask your mentor upfront exactly what she is willing to do for you. Then refrain from asking for more.
- Follow through on any commitments you make — One of the best ways to show you are a professional and worthy of a mentor is to follow through on any and all commitments made to your mentor. Plus, taking action on your commitments will bring you closer to your own success.
- Incorporate behaviors that enhance your personal power — Show your mentor that you care about improving yourself and your work by incorporating behaviors that enhance your personal power. Continual learning, positive self-talk, and even taking care of your health are all ways to enhance your personal power.
- Take the initiative to keep in contact with your mentor — Because you stand to gain the most from the mentoring relationship, it is your responsibility to keep the contact between the two of you consistent. You will have the added benefit of showing your mentor that you can think in a proactive manner and take action accordingly.
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