Before you ask yourself how do I get a mentor it is important to understand exactly what mentoring is. Mentoring may have become more popular and fashionable in recent years. But you can still be forgiven if you are unsure of what it is, and how it can help you. Many people find someone they admire and look up to and ask them to be their mentor. Unfortunately, this forced situation is not how mentoring really works.
There are many common misconceptions surrounding mentoring, what it is, and how it works. Mentoring is not all about you. You will also need to look for a mentor; one will not come and find you. Mentoring is also not as passive as many people think. So, let’s move on and start to answer the question “how do I get a mentor”
How do I Get A Mentor : Step By Step
The first step to finding a mentor is finding someone that you want to be like. This person needs to have skills and strengths that you want to emulate. You do not need to limit yourself to one person at this point; in fact it is wrong to do so. What you need to be doing here is finding several possible candidates and spending time with each of them.
To know if the person or people are the right mentor for you, you will need to study them. You can get to know them on a personal level and also by follow their blogs and social media channels. You will quickly learn whether the person really is like his public persona projects him to be. You need to be realistic at this stage, as all people have both strengths and weaknesses.
Asking the Question
There is definitely a right time to ask someone to be your mentor, and it most certainly is not at the first meeting. Your first initial meeting should be informal, and limited to a maximum timescale of one hour. A casual meet up over coffee is perfect for a first meeting. You should come to your first meeting armed with questions, but you should also be prepared to let the conversation flow.
After a first meeting, you need to evaluate how things went. Would you like to spend more time with the person? If the answer is no, then this person is obviously not the best mentor for you. How did you feel at the end of the meeting? If you felt better about yourself and you felt that you made a connection, then the chances are that this person could be a good mentoring or coaching prospect.
If things went well, then you need to put into action a follow up plan. This is not like dating, so you won’t be seen as over-keen when asking for a second “date” right away. Immediate follow up is the correct course of action. An email or other form of passive communication is a good wear to not be too overbearing when it comes to following up.
A good mentoring relationship is one that evolves organically, and should never be forced. A good mentoring relationship will grow naturally. Give the relationship time to grow and you will soon see if the person is the correct mentor for you or not. As you develop the relationship with your mentor, you should press for more, but without being demanding. Some level of friendship is necessary for developing a successful relationship.
A good mentor will always give feedback where required. This feedback will not always be positive, but it should always be delivered in a friendly manner. Being able to take criticism from your chosen mentor is vital for a successful mentoring relationship. Remember that you are looking to be like this person in the future, and you need to know how to get there. Listening and learning are vital, as is taking criticism where necessary.
When asking the question “how do I get a mentor” you can see that it is not quite as simple as finding someone you admire and going up to them and asking them to be your mentor. The process is divided up into stages. Each stage is as important as the next, and no mentoring relationship should be forced. It will develop naturally and organically over time.