Simmons Breaks Down Value of Mentors in 6 Easy Steps

The Simmons School of Management published an article in its Spring 2016 issue by Emily Buehrens about the tremendous value a mentors in the lives of emerging professionals.

Buehrens spoke with Stacy Blake-Beard, professor of management at Simmons College School of Management and mentoring scholar, who summarized the capacity for mentors to help young professionals become “less afraid,” assuming they are open to the lessons mentors have to offer.

In the article, Blake-Beard “offers a practical six-step approach on how to identify, engage, and successfully participate in a mentoring relationship”:

Value of Mentors

  1. “Self-reflection”: According to Blake-Beard, “A mentor can’t help you if you don’t know what it is that you want for yourself.”
  1. “Put your network into action”: Blake-Beard advises professionals to “Survey…the landscape and give good thought to who can help you reach the goals and needs that you identified.”
  1. “Get on their calendar”: Get in touch with a mentor once you have “identified who it is you hope to tap for guidance and support.” Blake-Beard advises professionals to be sensitive to their mentors’ schedules and “be flexible and creative when they arrange the meeting.”
  1. “Use inquiry & listen”: Set it up, stand back, keep your mouth shut, and listen. Blake-Beard says, “Ask a couple of questions, and then let the mentor share his or her experiences with you.”
  1. “Giving thanks”: It is imperative that you find a way to express gratitude to the mentor for “taking time out of his/her schedule and sharing insights with you.”
  1. “Follow-up”: Blake-Beard advises professionals to “share with your mentor what you have learned, how you are going to act on the advice she or her provided and how it added value in your life.”

Blake-Beard believes that professionals who invest time in these relationships and actively demonstrate how the mentor’s insights have positively impacted their lives often find that the mentor becomes someone in their corner who “will make time for you no matter where life takes you.”


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