The topic of mentorship has been circulating in our Editorial Department and there’s a lot of research that is done around mentors. Questions like, “Should I find a mentor?” “How do I find one?” and “What are common issues about mentorship?”
Who doesn’t want to have a mentor? It is somebody who advise you, guide you, support you, encourage you, you know, so many advantages that comes with having a mentor. However, there are certain hurdles, I think, road blocks that we are seeing from the questions that we have been receiving about mentorship. I have a somewhat different perspective about mentors.
One, I think mentorship is something that we all should value, but we should not just look for mentorship through one particular person. Throughout my practice with my clients and in my own life, I have had mentors that comes from wide array of individuals and not one specific person at any one time. If you’re on the lookout, look out for people who are ahead of you, who are in places that you aspire to be, or have skill sets, or networks you aspire to develop. Lookout for a wide array and learn from these people, a wide array of them and not just one.
The second is to explore, finding your mentor from maybe a not so traditional source. I have found many of my mentors through books and through interviews for example. You listen to podcasts, watch Youtubes, there are so many mentors that you can learn from – Tony Robins, Brendon Burchard for example, their teachings are available on the internet, so many mentors that you can tap on without even meeting face-to-face.
I think the other source of mentorship we might have been missing out is that of our peers. Mentors, we often say, “Oh, should be somebody was much older, have gone on a long way before us.” Should they? I believe mentors might serve you best if they are just three or four steps ahead of you. Why? Because their experience would be much closer to what you’re experiencing right now and their approach and perspectives may resonate with the times and with you based on some of the issues that you have been facing, but they have found the way to get over them. They are then able to advise, guide you in a much better and more intimate way because there’s closer proximity to where you are right now.
Find the gems to be your mentor in very specific areas. Again, the third one is about not finding a mentor who can answer a wide variety of questions. You might want to just have a mentor who you can ask very specific questions like, how do I do this, instead of a very blanket question, how can I live my life, you know, it’s a very blanket question, but how can I gain more energy in my life is more specific questions. You might want to find a mentor that is able to help you in very specific area for you to move forward.
What might be preventing you from finding a mentor you desire? Two things that I see which have been preventing people from finding the mentor that they want.
1. It’s true everybody is busy. Instead of looking for one person, look for a wide variety of people. Then you might be able to find mentors that are able to meet everyone of your needs. Number two, the other barrier that I find are people are not getting the mentors that they want. It’s because they don’t make the ask. They don’t open their mouth and say … They don’t make themselves vulnerable to say that I need help, can you mentor me in this particular area, so that is a very key piece.
Before people say yes, you’ve got to give them a reason as to why they should invest in you. Part of that is, one, invest in them. If they have a blog, they have a website, if they have a event, go support them, go support them, take the action. If you want them to be your mentor, invest in them and then give them a reason as to why they should invest in you, right?
The other thing for you to consider is should you be mentoring someone too. You might be able to learn from the other person in as much as you being a mentor. That’s the issue of mentorship, who should I go for, where do I find mentor. I think the main thing is take action, invest in your mentor and give them reason to invest in you as your mentor.
2. Be vulnerable. Go and ask them for help. Go and ask them to be your mentor rather than wishing that you will surface in their radar and they will come and approach you.
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- What is your #1 pressing organizational or leadership issue? What’s keeping you awake at night regarding your business/role? Hit reply or leave a comment below.
- PLUS I’d love to hear your experience of having a mentor, what are your do’s and don’ts in finding and being a mentored.
Until the next time, I wish you a life that’s most excellent.