Diverse Talent Strategies | Customized Mentoring and Recruitment Solutions

How to Pick the Right Mentor

We all know mentors can help us develop skills, serve as a sounding board, and give us the necessary insights to grow our career. That’s why picking the right mentor is essential.


Here are a few suggestions to get you started in assessing whether a potential mentor is a good match:

  • Identify the specific development area(s) you want to work on and look for a mentor who has strengths in this area.
  • Think about the specific attributes you seek in a mentor (consider availability, communication, style, experience, personality, leadership style, etc.).
  • What are your expectations about how a mentor will guide, coach, support, and interact with you during your mentoring partnership?
  • Avoid seeking a mentor based purely on their title and/or ability to connect you to a specific area of the business. Mentoring is first and foremost about your growth and development. Be open and willing to explore a mentoring partnership with someone you don’t know and/or who works in a role or areas of the business you are nor familiar with.


When you meet with your potential mentor:

  • Share your preliminary development goals and then ask the potential mentor to share with you how they believe they can best support you in achieving development in your defined area(s).
  • Share with the potential mentor the attributes you have determined are important for you in a mentor and ask them to share a little bit about how they do or do not align to what you’re looking for.
  • Ask the potential mentor to share with you how they like to work with a mentee and the expectations for their mentee as they move through the mentoring journey.


By thinking strategically about your goals and intentionally seeking out a mentor or mentors with demonstrated success in the area you are wanting to develop in, you will be able to fast-track your learning and build meaningful relationships in the process.

Alison Martin

Written by

Alison Martin is the Founder and Chief Learning Officer of Diverse Talent Strategies, a family of brands offering turn-key solutions for mentoring, women’s leadership initiatives, and recruitment. With roughly 15 years in nonprofit work, Alison has a passion for doing work that makes a difference in the lives of others. After serving as Executive Director at two different national nonprofit organizations, her commitment to her passion for developing female talent led her launch Mentoring Women’s Network. In her role, Alison acts as a liaison to a national committee responsible for the leadership development content for the organization and consults with corporations on the development and strategy aligned with initiatives for emerging female leaders. She is also the author of the book, “Landing on My Feet: Learning to Lead Through Mentoring” and speaks regularly on behalf of the organization

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