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.