Finding the right mentor can be a transformational experience that can have a profound impact on both your personal and professional life. It can however be difficult and frustrating to find the right mentor for YOU. More than anything, this is a personal relationship that will develop over time, and as with any partnership, it’s crucial that you are aware of the most important dynamics. That’s why I’ve put together this handy list of 5 key steps that will ensure that you find the right mentor that compliments your aspirations and helps you reach your goals.
Identify what it is you want to improve on
Before you even approach a mentor, it is important to identify the area (or areas) that you want to work on/improve on. This could be a personality trait, like discovering how you can be more assertive in business situations or how you can create a better financial future for yourself. Alternatively, it could be related to the sector that you are hoping to explore. For example, if you are an entrepreneur and you are looking for business advice on how to grow your start-up, then maybe the right mentor is someone who has managed to build up a successful company from nothing, using only a few tools and resources. Approaching a mentor in this way also shows them that you’ve done your research and that you know what your goals and desires are.
Stupid questions don’t exist – any good mentor will tell you that. The most important thing when starting any venture is to be inquisitive and to get the answers you need. This will help you make a confident decision about which mentor to go with. Chances are your mentor was probably in that very same position years ago, and they probably had a mentor of their own to help them overcome their obstacles.
Furthermore, it’s important that you understand the process and get a feel for how they work. More than anything, asking questions early on will allow you to express your concerns and doubts to your mentor, who will always help to guide you in the right direction. This works both ways though, as a good mentor will always engage in a productive dialogue with you. A mentor won’t just lecture you on what to improve. Instead, they’ll help you to frame your thinking and push you in the right direction, using their own personal experiences and insight as you go along.
Trust your gut
As with all personal relationships, it is vital that you listen to yourself. How do you personally feel about this person’s advice? Do you feel like it is enabling you to deal with your issues and confront your challenges? A good mentor should make you feel comfortable. That doesn’t mean that they won’t challenge you or give you some tough love – but the most important thing is that you trust their process and that there’s a connection between you both.
Mentoring with Irene Gott
I have many years of mentoring experience and know what it’s like to work with people from a wide variety of different backgrounds, from part-time start-ups to business entrepreneurs and working mothers. I worked for many years as a an HR professional in the NHS and more recently now run my own successful health-focused business which I combine with my mentoring work. For more information on mentoring, book a free 30-minute discovery call.