How to Find the Right Mentor for You

How to Find the Right Mentor for You
Tamara Lechner

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a mentor as “a trusted counselor or guide.” Mentors can be consultants, counselors, or even gurus. In a world filled with people who have diverse passions, skills, and goals, how do you find the right mentor for you?

3 Types of Mentors

First, get really clear on what you mean by mentor. The possibilities can be divided into three potential categories:

  1. A hands-on mentor who you have a consistent working relationship with.
  2. Someone who you stay in contact with and see occasionally over the years, and whose guidance profoundly impacts your future.
  3. Someone you never meet but whose body of work you follow and use as guidance in your own life, career, or relationships.

You aren’t limited to just one mentor, but there is something to be said about focusing on learning from one mentor at a time. Keep in mind that your mentor could focus on your career, relationships (like marriage or parenting), or self-reflection and personal growth. Once you are really clear about what the focus of your mentor relationship will be, it’s time to find your mentor.

How to Find Your Mentor

1. Find someone you admire and want to be like. This is someone who may have a similar set of strengths and skills that you want to emulate. Remember a mentor doesn’t want to be copied, they want to watch you develop your own strengths and skills with their guidance.

2. Where do you find someone you admire and respect? Sometimes you may get caught up looking at the thought leaders of your industry. You may see celebrities or influencers in your field regularly. When media and social media surround you, it is easy to think the loudest voice is the one to follow. The ability to discern who the right mentor is out of many options can come down to using your intuition.

3. Study this person. Follow their social feeds, read their books, or if they are someone from your local community, get to know them. Take their classes. Understand their strengths as well as their weaknesses. Know if their core values line up with yours. Before you ask them to form a mentor relationship with you, you need to spend time getting to know them.

4. Read, listen, feel. Some people are admirable writers but not such prolific teachers or speakers. I have heard life-changing talks given by people whose books I couldn’t finish. Likewise, there are some fabulous writers who cannot effectively deliver their message at a live event. If you want a mentor who feels truly aligned with your needs, choose someone whose message resonates, who writes well, who speaks well, and who has effectively branded themselves as a thought leader or expert.

5. Get in tune with the signs. In an interview with Melanie Whelan, CEO of Soul Cycle (an indoor cycling company), I picked up this great tip: If you hear about something three …read more
Source: Deepak Chopra  

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