Do you want to know how to find a mentor?
If you do, then you are not alone.
Having a mentor gives you an edge in growing and building your career and business.
This benefit makes having a mentor a good thing.
However, not everybody knows how to get someone to mentor them.
As a result, they are not able to enjoy the benefits that mentorship relationships bring.
If you do not know how to find a mentor, then we are here to help.
So, we advise you to join us, as we share valuable information on how to find a mentor.
To begin, we will be looking at who mentors are…
Who Are Mentors? – How to Find a Mentor
Mentors are experienced people who impart knowledge, wisdom, and expertise to less experienced people called mentees.
The mentors help the mentees to develop and improve their skills.
Mentors provide support, guidance, advice to their mentees.
Meanwhile, the mentor gets an opportunity to improve or develop their leadership abilities and skills.
Hence, this relationship is a mutually beneficial one.
While mentorship is a professional relationship, a good mentor knows how to make the relationship friendly.
Also, a good mentor knows how to tailor their mentorship technique to meet their mentee’s needs.
Difference between Coaching and Mentoring – How to Find a Mentor
The term ‘mentoring’ and ‘coaching’ are often confused with each other.
However, these two relationships are different and have different purposes or goals.
Coaching is a short-term relationship between two individuals.
It can be personal or professional.
In this type of relationship, the coach makes use of creative or thought-provoking strategies to help their client develop professionally or personally.
Meanwhile, mentorship is a relationship that is longer than a coaching relationship.
It often lasts up to one year and more.
Both the mentor and mentee benefit from this relationship.
Hence, it is known to be a mutually beneficial relationship.
Qualities You Should Look Out For When Finding a Mentor – How to Find a Mentor
When finding a mentor, you have to look out for the following qualities:
Relevant Knowledge and Expertise
Your mentor has to be someone who has the relevant background that would help you grow.
They should be someone that has experienced things, and gained knowledge and expertise on things that you would need to know.
This would make it easier for them to impact that relevant knowledge on you.
Let us assume you own a modeling business and want to develop skills to run your business.
You cannot expect to get good advice or relevant information that would help your skills and business grow when you have a real estate business owner as a mentor.
Yes, they might know how to run a business.
However, they would not have the relevant knowledge on how to run the type of business you have.
So, having relevant knowledge and expertise is a quality you should look out for when seeking a mentor.
Respectful Attitude – How to Find a Mentor
You would not appreciate it when someone disrespects you because they want to impart knowledge to you.
Learning from this type of person might be difficult for you.
The relationship between both of you would be unproductive, and unhealthy.
Hence, you have to ensure that you seek a mentor who has a good and respectful attitude.
This would help to grow a healthy friendly and learning-conducive relationship.
Understand that a mentor is human.
So, if you get a mentor, and they at one point act disrespectfully towards you, but acknowledge and apologize about it, then you should consider forgiving them,
Zeal to Share Their Knowledge and Expertise
As you seek a mentor that has relevant knowledge and expertise, you also need to ensure that they would willingly share them with you.
Understand that a mentor who has knowledge but would not share it with you is not achieving the purpose of mentoring.
In other words, if they do not teach, advise, and guide you, then they are not fulfilling their duty as a mentor.
Hence, you should not into a mentorship relationship with someone who would withhold their knowledge from you.
Rather, seek someone who is excited and open to sharing what they know with others.
Good mentors want other people to gain from their knowledge and experience.
Empathy and Active Listening – How to Find a Mentor
When seeking a mentor you have to be sure that they are someone who has empathy.
Empathy means the ability to share and understand other people’s feelings.
Yes, a mentorship relationship is often professional.
However you have to understand that for a person to be able to influence your life positively, they have to understand you.
Empathy and active listening will help your mentor to listen to what you are saying, understand you, and help you the best way they can.
They might not know everything, but their understanding of your feelings, and what you are going through will help them guide you well.
Also know that even if they know everything and do not listen and understand you, they would wrongly guide you.
Get someone who will not impose their values and beliefs on you without taking your values and inputs into consideration.
Ability to Provide Direct and Honest Feedback
As you find someone who would respect you, it is equally important that such a person is capable of showing tough love sometimes.
When we say sometimes we mean when honesty is needed.
Good mentors do not hide the truth from protégé to protect their feelings
They know how to provide their honest feedback constructively and directly without being scared of hurting you.
It is when you know and accepts the truth that you would be able to grow.
So, ensure that you get a mentor who can show tough love.
Check here to discover 10 ways to give feedback to your employees.
Willingness to Invest In People – How to Find a Mentor
You have to understand that mentoring is not a one-day job.
It is like an investment that one does not get paid to accomplish in a day.
Hence, mentors have to be willing to make those sacrifices and investments.
In other words, find someone who will patiently guide you for a long period without getting tired or frustrated.
They should be someone who will not expect immediate benefits, and will not easily give up.
Finally, they should be concerned about growing and maintaining their relationship with you.
Eagerness to Sponsor Others
Not all mentors are sponsors.
A mentor who is also a sponsor does not only advise, guide, and support others, but they also actively advocate for others publicly and privately.
In other words, they make use of their connections, political credibility, money, and other things to provide you with opportunities that you wouldn’t have gotten by yourself.
Hence, having this kind of mentor provides you with a better advantage.
Common Misconceptions about Mentoring – How to Find a Mentor
There are some misconceptions about mentoring.
These misconceptions make people expect what they should not.
Debunking these misconceptions will help you to better understand what you want to engage in.
This way, you will not expect the wrong things when seeking a mentor and during your period in a mentorship relationship.
Mentors Have to Be Old
This is one of the most common misconceptions of mentoring.
Some people believe that a person has to be old before they can be a mentor.
This makes them only seek older individuals as a mentor when there are suitable young individuals.
Age is not a necessity in mentoring.
What is necessary is that the person you chose as a mentor has the relevant knowledge and expertise that you need, and will willingly share it.
Understand that your mentor can be someone younger than you.
As long as they respect you, then there is nothing wrong or bad with having a young mentor.
Mentors Are Perfect – How to Find a Mentor
Humans are not perfect.
Then why do you expect your mentor to be perfect?
Understand that a mentor is also human, and cannot be perfect.
They might exhibit behaviors that you do not appreciate, but have the qualities that make them good mentors.
Your mentor does not need to be perfect.
So, acquire what you can get from them, respect them, and know that they can also make mistakes.
Mentors Make Use of Curriculum to Teach Protégés – How to Find a Mentor
Some people also believe that there is a curriculum that mentors make use of to teach their protégés.
However, there is usually nothing like that.
Mentors craft their mentoring technique to fit their protégé.
The learning process is based on their protégé’s priorities, agenda, needs, and questions.
Hence, a protégé is meant to know where they need development, and let their mentor know.
This way, they would both work towards what the protégé needs.
Mentors Have All the Answers
Some people believe that mentors know everything.
However, this is not true.
As they are human, they can’t have the answers for everything.
They also will never have or get all the answers.
Sometimes all they would be able to do for you is to direct you on where and how to get your answer.
A mentor is there to help you, as best as they can.
They will supply you with resources and the knowledge they have to help you grow.
Mentors Should Have the Same View as Their Protégé – How to Find a Mentor
It is also a common misconception that a mentor has to see things the same way as their protégé.
However, this is not necessary.
Having two different points of view will provide people with different ways of doing things.
So, do not limit your search to only people who are similar to you.
Tips on How to Find a Mentor
Now that you know those qualities that a good mentor should possess, how do you find one?
We have prepared some tips on how to find a mentor.
So, we advise you to make use of them and get yourself a mentor.
1. Find Out If Mentoring Is Good For You
Before you go seeking a mentor, you have to first get yourself ready.
To do this, you have to reflect.
Find out if mentoring will be good for you.
Understand that not everybody has the attributes that would make them a good protégé or mentee.
So, check yourself.
Ask yourself if you will be respectful, open to criticism and honest, and ready to work with someone else towards your growth.
For a mentoring relationship to be successful, a mentor has to be ready to listen to their mentor and work hard.
2. Identify Your Goals – How to Find a Mentor
Another thing you need to do before seeking a mentor is to identify your goals.
What are those things you need to get out of that relationship?
Identify your purpose in getting a mentor.
When you can identify what your goals are, you can make use of them to start a conversation with a potential mentor.
Also, you can get to know the person or people who are capable of helping you achieve your goals when you identify your goals.
Finally, knowing your goals will help your mentor to know what they are working towards with you.
3. Select the People Who Can Mentor You
Once you know what your goals are, you can then select the people who can mentor you.
When seeking a mentor, you do not just go straight to one person if different people can mentor you.
Hence, you have to take your time to select those people who can mentor you.
These people have to be someone who can help you achieve your goals, and have qualities that make a good mentor.
You can consider the people you know that can fit those qualities, or go out, network, and find those people who meet your expectation and qualities.
Some places you can network and meet mentors include professional associations, social events, volunteer groups, and local businesspeople functions.
Meet people who you consider successful in the area you need help in, and get to know them.
Another way you can identify potential mentors is by looking at those in the position or who have achieved something you want to achieve later on.
Since they have passed through what you would pass through and have succeeded, they might be able to help you succeed too.
4. Reach Out To Them – How to Find a Mentor
Before you decide on who would mentor you, ensure that you reach out to all those people you have identified as potential mentors.
Form a relationship with them and get to know them.
Do not be quick to tell anyone of them to mentor you.
Rather, take your time to study them.
When you have taken your time to study them, you might find out that some of them do not meet the qualification.
Hence, you have to remove them from your list.
After you have done this, you should focus on the rest of the people on your list.
It is at this point you can then tell them that you want them to mentor you.
Understand that for a person to agree to mentor you, they have to see your potential.
So, do not hide your potential.
At the end of speaking to them, some will agree to mentor you, while others will disagree.
Do not be surprised if more than one person agrees to mentor you.
Understand that you can have more than one mentor at a time.
The best way to approach and speak to a potential mentor is:
Fix a Meeting – How to Find a Mentor
It is better to have a one-on-one conversation with your potential mentor than asking them to be your mentor over a phone call or email.
So, try to fix a meeting with them if it is possible.
However, when setting up the meeting let them know the reason for it.
Explain to Them Why You Want To Be Mentored
As we earlier said, you need to explain to your mentor what your goals are.
This way, they will know if they can provide you with what you want.
If they can, then you can both work towards them.
So, when you meet with your potential mentor, ensure that you explain your goals, expectation, and needs to them.
Tell Them Why You Chose Them – How to Find a Mentor
As you explain your goals to your potential mentor, you also have to tell them why you chose them.
Also, you have to let them know that you value and appreciate their knowledge and expertise.
If you let them know that you appreciate their expertise and what your goals are, you most likely will receive an affirmative reply.
If you notice that they seem uncomfortable or feel skeptical about mentoring you, then you have to stop asking and look for someone else.
5. Show Gratitude
When a person agrees to be your mentor, you have to show gratitude.
This is because they have other responsibilities and a personal life.
Regardless of having these other responsibilities, they chose to mentor you.
So, show them respect and demonstrate gratitude toward them with different gestures.
Also, ensure that you do not demand too much of their time.
When you show gratitude, they would be motivated, and do more for you.
6. Put in Efforts – How to Find a Mentor
You and your mentor have to work together to schedules meetings and other logistics.
When this is all done, you have to ensure that you put in the required effort by keeping to time and showing up when there is a meeting.
Listen to them when they tell you something.
If they advise you concerning an issue, take heed to it.
Show them that you value their input.
When you put in the required effort, their work will be easier, and success will be easier to achieve.
Conclusion on How to Find a Mentor
Having a mentor comes with several benefits.
One of the benefits is that they help you to develop and grow your skills and talent.
So, if you want a mentor but do not know how to find one, we advise you to act on the tips in this article.
It will provide you with valuable information on how to find a mentor.