The next step in the Plan, Do, Check, Adjust cycle is to find mentors in the areas of life where you aspire to be better. I am not suggesting that you lose your uniqueness though. Many times, what attracts us to people we would like to have as mentors, is what they have done and who they are. In other words they are unique. Never be a cheap copy of a great original. However, with that warning, you will never grow to your full potential without a great mentor or mentors! If you pattern your habits and actions after people with the results you want, guess what will happen to you? You will have achieved what they have achieved. Their experience, insight, and wisdom provide guidance through the PDCA growth cycle. Mentors provide missing pieces to the puzzle you probably don’t have the experience or insight to discover on your own.
The secret to having a great mentoring experience lies in your ability to formulate and ask great questions. Don’t go to your mentor and expect them to give you a golden nugget unless you are mining the gold in them first. Mining the gold, means, to come prepared. I see people make this mistake because they expect their mentor to “read their mind” and somehow solve all their problems. That is not mentoring, that is magic! Remember the relationship principle of “you will get the best out of others when you give the best of yourself.” This principle applies to the people you are leading, and, applies to the people you are following. You will get the best from your mentors when you give the best of yourself first. Giving your best means, coming prepared for a mentoring session. Whether it is doing what your mentor told you to do at a previous session or coming prepared with detailed questions to ask, there should never be a shortage of principles or practices to discuss and learn. One of the best ways to learn, is, to teach and do. By pouring his or her life into you through mentoring, the mentor grows as well. Think about it this way: if you stretch your mentor’s learning capacity, they will want to give you their best, and, have more mentoring sessions. This is a win-win relationship. Start your session by saying, “this is what you said, this is what I did, did I do it right, and can I ask you more questions.” Those 4 simple statements set the stage for a great PDCA learning experience. Now find a mentor and get to work.