Life is about perspectives. You have those you look up to (mentors, coach) and you have those who look up to you. This brings about balance. As the bible rightly put it; Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend – Prov. 27:17. This clearly portrays the fact that on our way to achieve our dreams, we will always need help. Reason being that, no man is an island on its own neither is anybody “self-made”. We need each other to survive.
However, there is need to carefully chose who to learn from and what exactly it is you want to learn from that individual. Have a clear purpose and focus. This is necessary to help you know what to expect and when to move on if need be.
What then are the things you need to look out for in seeking a mentor?
You Should Have a Like-mind with Your Mentor
As a person in need of mentoring, make the right connections and surrounding yourself with a like-minded mentor. This can help you grow and develop in all aspects of life. You need to have a like mind otherwise the relationship can feel strained or forced. Not only does a like-minded mentor know what you are passionate about, but they are there every step of the way cheering you on. They do such by urging you to achieve your objectives, through their steady help, and reminding you to keep your eyes concentrated on the final result. They empower you to establish a deeper connection with yourself and to strive for greatness.
Your Mentor Should Have Capabilities
It goes without saying that what qualifies an individual to be your mentor is expertise in your field or area of responsibility. With this in mind, you will need to look out for a mentor with enough knowledge and capability to help you navigate through any challenge you’re facing. More so, you can benefit from insights gained through years of experience, without having to spend years of trial and errors.
It turns out, that a mentor with different backgrounds bring unique information and experiences to guide you appropriately. Leading to better decision-making, problem solving and healthier relationships. A narrow-minded mentor could help you achieve current goals but lose relevance as you grow and achieve more. Hence, you will need to put this into consideration. What’s more, if you intend to have a short-term mentoring relationship, this could mean less to you. However, it is worthy of note that the broad set of skills and perspective of a diverse mentor, provides a greater chance at achieving long-term success. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to have a mentor who is younger than you, looks different from you, thinks differently than you, and isn’t necessarily the same gender as you.
Your Mentor Should be Trustworthy
One of the most important components in the mentor/mentee relationship is trust. You will be telling your mentor things in confidence, so trust is of utmost importance. This trust should go both ways, as the relationship will be most successful when your mentor trusts you as well.
Trust isn’t something that comes quickly or easily and instead requires time and patience to build. Trust is the substance of any successful relationships. It is linked with openness, mutual reliance and respect. In addition with the willingness to be vulnerable in some way. Without trust, relationship with your mentor, family and friends could become tense and you get to be on the defence always. Successful mentoring relationships absolutely depend on it.
In closing, seek out a mentor who will challenge you to improve, isn’t afraid to ask you the tough questions, and will convey genuine feedback, both positive and negative. This is the mentor who will help you achieve your goals and help you succeed.