Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

News > Announcements > 4 Things To Look For In A Mentor

4 Things To Look For In A Mentor

Some great advice on what to look for in a Mentor, by Ashira Prossack (forbes.com)

Mentors can help you in many ways in your career. They can help you gain confidence, develop skills in a new job, and even help you get promoted.

What should you look for when choosing a mentor?

Compatibility:

Your mentor is someone who you will be working closely with. You have to be compatible with this person otherwise the relationship can feel strained or forced. It does take a bit of time to get to know someone, so don’t discount a relationship too quickly, but pay attention to any cues that could indicate long term conflict. Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns or end the relationship. Chances are, you and your mentor are both feeling the same way.

If you’ve been assigned a mentor through your company or a program, you may feel like you have to stick with that person. Most of the time that’s not the case, and if you explain to the company why you don’t feel like the mentor-mentee relationship will be successful, they’ll be happy to match you with another mentor.

Contrast:

A mentor helps you step outside your comfort zone, so this person should be a bit outside your comfort zone as well. You don’t want a clone of yourself or your best friend as a mentor. You need diversity to make sure you’re getting a true different perspective on things. Don’t be afraid to have a mentor who is younger than you, looks different than you, thinks differently than you, and isn’t necessarily the same gender as you.

Your mentor doesn’t even have to be in the same line of work as you. Sometimes having someone to look at things from an entirely unfamiliar perspective and viewpoint helps you gain the most clarity. You might even feel more comfortable opening up to them knowing that you don’t share the same professional circles, so there’s less risk of any future conflict.

Expertise:

It’s not about finding a mentor with the most years of experience or the biggest title. It’s about finding a mentor with the knowledge and expertise to help you on your journey. You want a mentor with enough experience to help you navigate through any challenges you’re facing, but that doesn’t always mean someone with the most years of work on their resume. If your mentor has been in a similar situation to you and has worked their way through it, their title or years in the workforce become irrelevant.

Trust:

You will be telling your mentor things in confidence, so trust is of utmost importance. This trust should go both ways, as the relationship will be the most successful when they trust you as well. Build on this mutual trust to get the most out of your relationship.

Take things slow and establish some ground rules up front to avoid any conflicts. After a few sessions you’ll get to know each other better and you’ll have learned each other’s communication styles. Once a solid level of trust is established, you’ll be able to really move forward.

Seek out a mentor who will challenge you to improve, isn’t afraid to ask the tough questions, and will deliver real feedback, both positive and negative. This is the mentor who will help you achieve your goals and help you succeed.

Similar stories

Project 20/20 Outcomes Documentation

The outcomes of the Project 20/20 Change Management program are published in this article. You are required to login to review the documents. More...

Mentoring Platform Tutorial

From financial services and law to publishing and media, the list of industries we find ODs in who are wanting to help t… More...

Postponement of the 2021 AGM

Following the OD Committee's meeting on January 26, the decision was taken to postpone the AGM in light of different fac… More...

Postponement of Founders Week

Along with our lead sponsor,¬†Citadel Wealth Management¬†we have had to make the painful decision of postponing Founders W… More...

The Opulent Garden Spring Market - Silvermist Organic Wine Estate

OD Gregory Louw (2000S) will host The Opulent Garden Spring Market at his farm on 8 November from 09:00 - 16:00pm. More...

Most read

Mark Shuttleworth (1991W)
Mark Shuttleworth: Interview

Mark Shuttleworth (1991W) sat (virtually) with Sumit Sharma to discuss his life's work and legacy; with some compelling insights. More...

Hendry (Hennie) Andrews
Henry Andrews 1965-2021

Hendry (Hennie) Andrews, who was a Bishops Prep staff member for 32 years, passed away suddenly on the 13th of April 2021. More...

A Fireside chat with two Springboks

Our friends in the UK hosted an online discussion between two former Springboks, Francois Louw (2003W) and Dugald Macdonald (1967W). More...

Have your say

 
This website is powered by
ToucanTech