Thursday, January 15, 2015

Choosing the right mentor

Mission: A mission is defined as a specific task or assignment - which implies that it requires work in order to succeed. Likewise, entering into a Mentoring relationship is a mission. It takes a lot of work - on both the Mentor and Protégée's part. So you need to be clear on your mission - Why do you think you need a mentor? What do you hope to achieve in order to declare "Mission accomplished!"?

Oprah Winfrey said "A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself."

Empowerment: Prof Shawn R. Hitchcock* said, “A mentor empowers a person to see a possible future, and believe it can be obtained. It’s that feeling that someone is concerned about you, that they want you to succeed.”
So it is important that in seeking out a mentor, it must be someone with a positive outlook to life - theirs and yours. Without a positive outlook to their own life or feel motivated to move forward, how can he/she empower you? 


Networker: Your mentor should be someone who is a good "Networker."  

Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn put it well: "One of the challenges in networking is everybody thinks it's making cold calls to strangers. Actually, it's the people who already have strong trust relationships with you, who know you're dedicated, smart, a team player, who can help you."  A good mentor should exemplify good networking skills.

Teacher: A good mentor must be someone you're willing to learn from. Like John Crosby said: "Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction."

Indeed nothing is learned until something is taught...and something is caught. So it's not enough for your Mentor to be a good "teacher," you also need to be a good/willing learner. 

Remember "Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere." ~Chinese Proverb

Optimistic:  You need to seek out and have a mentor who is an Optimist. Now that is not to say that the person should not be realistic, but like Helen Keller said: "Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence."
This ties in with what Bob Proctor said "A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you."     


Reachable: Your mentor must be someone you have access to. It doesn't have to be 24/7, daily, weekly or even monthly but you need to be able to reach the person from time to time and you need to mutually agree on the frequency.

Face-to-Face meetings are encouraged but answers to questions or guidance can be provided by email or over the phone.


Wishing you a productive Mentoring relationship...and in time, if you're not already one, you'll become a value-adding mentor to others who come in contact with you.

Another good resource: http://franchisegrowthpartners.com/mentoring


Reference:
* http://mediarelations.illinoisstate.edu/identity/1213/nov/Hitchcock.asp

 

 

 

 

 

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