Finding a Good Mentor

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Mentoring > Best Practices > Finding a Good Mentor

Finding a Good Mentor
Henry Jones
I would like to get some (career) guidance from an experienced mentor. But how can I find a suitable mentor?

Steps to find a mentor
Consider these 5 steps to get started. Each step builds on the don't skip any.
1. What do you want to accomplish?
2. (Based on 1) What do you want from a mentor?
3. (Based on 2) What kind of person could be an ideal mentor?
4. (Based on 3) Who could be a good mentor?
5. Ask the mentor (don't scare him/her, take it easy and be nice)

Pat Naicker, Coach, South Africa, Member
Perhaps a mentor will find you! Suitability is a matter of choice based on personal preference and research. It is your decision!

A True Mentor is Wise
The best mentors are not identified and pursued but rather realized from a long-term relationship of conversation and wisdom. A mentor can be anyone who allows you the time and thoughtfulness to reflect on your situation. And that can be in any arena of your life - business or personal.

Octavio Sanchez, Abogado, Mexico, Member
I think mentoring is also a matter of personal connection; so, the more suitable you are as a learner, the more effective the mentoring will be. Of course, the mentor has to be very wise as a teacher, but in the end it's up to you.

Goals and Objectives
Ken Wilson, Coach, United States, Member
You state that you want some career guidance. Identify the career goals and objectives that are most important for your discussions with a mentor. After you have identified your general and specific learning needs you can narrow your search for a mentor based upon those criteria. When you begin searching for a mentor use those learning needs to focus your search within that expertise range. A mentor can come from within your organization of from outside. As mentioned in other responses, your success with a mentor will greatly depend on the trust you develop with each other, which will facilitate honest and open communication. If you do find a mentor that is not satisfying your needs, respectfully back out and continue your search for another.

Finding a Mentor
Marissa Crean, Coach, United States, Member
What makes a "suitable" mentor? You have to be very specific if you are going to find the most suitable mentor. In most cases, a mentor has a certain expertise, the ability to mentor and the time to mentor. If you don't know anyone with your specific suitability skills, than maybe your friends and colleagues know this person. Ask everyone. Or you can try attending related industry or professional association meetings, to meet a lot of people with the expertise that you seek.
Also, realize that mentor/protegee relationships are not formed over night. You need to build upon an initial connection. Establish trust and integrity. Find suitable mentor candidates and figure out how to help them first. Invest your time in their needs. This will open them up to the possibility of helping you.
If pressed for time, you can always hire a professional coach (like me!).

Finding a Mentor
Neil Hendriksen, Consultant, United Kingdom, Member
Sometimes that which you seek is right in front of you. A mentor enables you to 'see' but ensures that you are the one who identifies what you are looking for. The mentor then guides you as you take responsibility and control of your (career) future.
You have taken the first step by recognizing that a mentor can help. Now you (yes - you) must approach a mentor to begin the conversation and continue your journey.

Why you Want a Mentor?
Kushvaha, Manager, India, Member
It is very easy to find a suitable mentor. But before that you have to know why you want mentor. What is that you want to improve or reduce and why? And are you sure that what you are more concerned for, is your core problem. So, try finding out your core problem because once you know your exact problem, then you will be specific what sort of mentor you want.
Many people do not know what their problem is and what they think is their problem, which is actually not.
A good mentor never gives you solutions but shows you a path to it. He / she makes sure that you get to that solution.

Finding a Mentor
Nicolae Enache, Consultant, Romania, Member
Henry, you don't say if you want to pursue a certain career in a certain organization or if you want to see what career to start in your life. For the first case, a mentor would be recommended in that organization. For the latter, go find a career counsellor (who can identify for you what your capabilities you have and what kind of career is recommended for you). Good luck!

Guidelines for Finding a Mentor
Kristina Hoffmann, Member
I am responsible for a mentoring program and we advice our students to look for a person:
- With career experience
- With life experience (role model)
- Who is able to teach
- To whom the student already has or can imagine to have a good personal relationship
And then they meet to discuss their expectations and decide if it will fit or not. Their must be trust and respect on both sides.

What do You Expect of your Mentor?
Arthur Panton, Consultant, Kenya, Member
I am busy with a post graduate business mentoring course at a university in Nairobi. With more than 25 years experience in ERP implementations, I can say that first you must define your expectations - and be realistic. Prime importance is to have a good personality fit.

Special Interest Group Leader
Doug Lawrence

Best Practices

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