Mentors play a vital role in success. Right?
But, does every mentor worth following?
I’ll leave the answer to you because I’m more interested in helping you choose the right mentor rather than blaming anyone.
You must have seen mentors in both corporate and entrepreneurship areas.
How often do you hear about choosing the right mentor?
I guess that you hardly heard of choosing the right mentor.
The reason is that nobody pays attention to the right type of mentor for themselves, especially in South East Asia. Therefore, it creates a gap vacuum that provides space for wrong mentors to creep in.
Before digging deeper into this, I’d like to say that mentorship is quite like leadership. A great businessman might not be a good mentor because it requires traits such as empathy, relationship-building skill, communication methodologies, and much more.
A true mentor is a person who would genuinely want you to win. You can wish for a certain mentor to mentor you, but the person may not be willing to spend his/her time on you. So what you need to understand is that mentorship isn’t just about getting advice from someone on Skype or in-person. Instead, it’s a process that harbors a relationship of a starter with an expert. And, it allows an expert (of any field) to bestow upon his/her wisdom on the student through guidance, teaching, and training.
I don’t want to be very bookish and philosophical about choosing the right mentor in 2020, but I want to give you a few tips on this topic. Once you finish reading these ideas, you would have criteria in mind about choosing the right mentor. Plus, these are not the only characteristics to look out for while choosing a mentor so there might be more than these that you must find out. Here are four of the many traits to find in your mentor:
Four Traits to Find in Your Mentor
Below are four traits you need to find in choosing a mentor.
Morality and Empathy
Before you look for anything in your mentor like formal education or experience in the field, you should look out for morality and empathy. The reason is that a person can’t be a guru if he/she doesn’t care for others. The number one trait of the right mentor is kindness. If the person is kind, morality and empathy would be there in abundance. You can always find this by looking at his content, language, dealing with others, and meeting in-person. A lot of people appear empathetic and warm in public, but they end up rude in real life. So you got to be aware of such qualities before you choose your mentor to follow and embrace.
Let’s don’t close our eyes to the professional milestone. You must have seen mentors in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, especially in Pakistan and India, who haven’t created a single successful company, but they are mentoring startups and young entrepreneurs on entrepreneurship and business.
Sure, there would be people who have worked in reputable organizations and built others’ companies along with them; there is no doubt about a handful of experts out there. But it doesn’t mean every mentor out there is the one. Let’s not just highlight one segment. In fact, the same thing goes for education, banking, and personal development sectors as well.
I’m not saying that your mentor must be a Nobel prize winner, but he/she has done some historic stuff along the way that it differentiates him/her from the rest of the experts. If you’re looking for a mentor for your career advice, then it’s best to reach out to successful people from your industry and build a relationship before asking for mentorship.
For example, if you want mentorship for your educational point-of-view, then your professor who you look up to could be the one or if you are a budding entrepreneur, then a successful business owner who interacts with you could be your mentor.
Giver vs. Taker
This might be difficult to gauge but mentorship is mostly about giving your time, energy, and effort. If someone agrees to mentor you in your startup or professional studies, then you should be very thankful to that person. But make sure that the mentor doesn’t have his/her reasons for doing so. For instance, if the mentor wants something under the table, then it may not be mentorship. However, in some cases, mentorship could be paid.
There are professional training courses that people sign-up for and get trained by the experts. There is no harm in paying someone for mentoring you, but there is a difference between getting paid for giving the advice and asking for a favour in return for mentorship. Make sure that your mentor genuinely wants to “give” it to you, meaning, the person wants you to win.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need a Mentor?
There are many advantages to have a mentor. For instance, he can direct you towards the right path. He May shorten your distance towards your success. Open your creative side of your brain and explores new doors of opportunities and new ideas in your mind.
What’s the difference between Teacher and a Mentor?
What i believe is that, a good teacher shares his knowledge and experience with you while a Good Mentor picks your hand and takes you towards the success with himself. I also believe that the key difference is that Teaching shares more of knowledge while Mentoring is more about sharing experience, success and failures.
What are the qualities of a good mentor?
As mentioned above, the four traits i see in a mentor are :
- Morality and Empathy
- Professional Milestones and Achievements
- Historic Achievements
- Is he a giver or taker?
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There is no doubt about the power of mentorship. The only issue is the selection of the mentor. Most people fail to find the right mentor or waste their time with the wrong mentors.
Let me know if you’re interested in reading more about mentorship. I might be able to cover more relevant topics in the future.
I have a question for you:
Have you ever come across any expert who you would want as your mentor in life or business?
Let me know who the person was in the comments below.