Let’s Talk About Mentoring: 4 Things You Must Do When Asking Someone to Mentor You

This post is the second in a series on mentoring happening on the blog this year. Read the first post here.

Last month, we talked about the 4 reasons you need a mentor.

So let’s say you’re convinced that you need a mentor. How do you ask someone to mentor you?

4 things to remember when asking someone to mentor you

1. Be nice. Remember: you’re asking for a favor! And you’ll likely be nervous about asking, and it’s easy to be less-than-socially-graceful when you’re nervous. Being aware of this can help you make sure you sound friendly and not aloof. (This is an easy mistake to make–ask me how I know!)

2. Tell them why. Your prospective mentor wants to know why you’re asking them and not somebody else. Tell them why. Tell them what you think they have to offer; tell them why they’re a good fit. You’re much more likely to get a “yes” if you give them a good reason.

3. Be specific. What are you looking for? Don’t just ask them, “will you mentor me?” Be very specific about what you need help with, what form you want that help to take, and what you envision your meetings looking like. Make a specific request so they know what they’re agreeing to. You’re much more likely to get a “yes” if you’re specific.

4. Make it easy for them. Be clear that you will suit their schedule. Do they want to skype or phone chat? Say yes. Do they want to meet at the coffee shop right by their office? Say yes. Do they want to meet at 6:00 am, or 9:00 pm. Say yes. Make it easy for them.

What if I’m not sure who to ask?

Not sure who to ask? Next time, we’ll talk about how to find the right person.

Have you asked someone to mentor you? If yes, did you follow these tips? If not, what’s holding you back? 

4 things you must do when asking someone to mentor you


  1. Johanna says:

    Being specific is I think the most helpful thing. Because the people I admire in homeschooling aren’t necessarily the people I admire in fitness or blogging. Thanks for this series. I’m still trying to figure out how to implement this.

  2. Lori says:

    I have been mentoring women for the past 10 years and it has had an amazing impact on them and me! The bible says the older women are to teach the younger women to love their husbands, love their children, be keepers at home, etc. and this is just not happening much but from my experience, it works beautifully. Many young women are hungering for older women to teach them. I absolutely love it.

  3. Kendra says:

    I really love this series! I’ve been considering a few people to ask to be my mentor for awhile. The “be specific” thing is good to remember. I know I’m specifically considering certain women over others because their values/morals/goals align closely with mine.

  4. Tim says:

    I’ve kind of fallen into informal mentoring relationships as life went on, but recently had someone specifically ask me to mentor him. It was a bit odd at first, but seems to be going well now. Perhaps it’s because, frankly, we have low expectations on both sides!

  5. Emily says:

    These are all great tips, I especially agree with being specific! That’s where past mentoring relationships have either not worked out or succeeded.

    • Anne says:

      Well, keep working on it 🙂 It’s interesting how the process of seeking a mentor–of thinking of what questions you want to ask–forces you to think the through the issue and clarify things, even before you ever talk to them!

  6. Nadine says:

    I think it’d be sweet if you also wrote a post of how to be a good mentor, and talk about the importance of being honest about what you can offer someone, and learning the grace of saying no.
    This is a great piece Anne. Number 4 is, I think, of utmost importance. If I ask someone to speak into my life, then I need to listen when they are able to speak, not just expect them to speak when I a ready to listen – if that makes any sense.
    Also, I loved our chat last month. It wasn’t a mentor thing at all, but I was encouraged by you.

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