Mentoring Helps, But Can You Be Mentored?

Danny Forest
3 min readAug 29, 2022
Photo by Liane Metzler on Unsplash

“When the student is ready the teacher will appear.” — Buddha

Let’s start with a definition of the word “Mentorship”:

Mentorship is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. —

We all know some benefits of having a mentor, but for me personally, these are the best reasons:

  • They accelerate your learning curve;
  • They expand your connections;
  • They tell you the cold, brutal truth; and
  • They motivate you.

Here are some articles on the subject:

However, the point of this article is more fundamental than that:

Are you even worth a mentor’s time?

Sounds harsh right? I’m saying that on purpose.

Photo by Everton Vila on Unsplash

To receive the benefits of mentorship, it has to be a mutual relationship. There are some unspoken “principles” that exist to make the relationship work. In this article, I’ll focus on what are some good qualities to be mentor-able:

Listen, Be Open-Minded

A mentor will give you advice on a solution to a problem based on their experience. They take their precious time because they want to help YOU. You owe it to them to listen to what they have to say.

They will often tell you things you don’t yet comprehend. Be open-minded. Don’t correct them. Don’t interrupt them when they speak. Try to grasp their point of view.

Take notes. It shows you value their time. It’s also much easier for you to remember their advice.

Don’t check your cellphone or smart watch. Don’t check the time unless you’ve got something…

Danny Forest

Polymath. Life Optimizer. Learner. Entrepreneur. Engineer. Writer.