“Meant to be; more than me.” That is my personal definition of a mentor worthy of their title. When you think about it, it’s spot on. When seeking out a mentor, one who’s desire for their mentee is to succeed and even surpass them. This is the gold standard of mentorship. This chosen person exhibits many vital characteristics to look for, which would foster great gain for your personal growth and development. Each characteristic has a role and in order for you, as the mentee, to grow you will do well to choose wisely. Your progress depends on it. It is not always the flashiest person in the room who is well suited for you. Keep that in the forefront of your mind as many are tempted to stop the search because of “shiny object syndrome” (Sanguine beware) and it may not be what is best for you. You will take notice that:
- Your philosophy and that of the prospective mentor will line up. Ask pertinent questions about their goals, desires and means of fulfilling them. Spend time observing their responses to situations, how they speak about others, and look for signs of maturity. Overarching all this is of course is their emotional intelligence. That is the telltale sign of whether or not this relationship will be right for you.
- They are not inhibited to ask the hard questions. They will probe into areas of life that many refrain from going. They are not interested in being the nice guy as much as they are in your well being. They will call you into account for your choices and even your thinking behind those choices to get to the real root. They will point you into the direction you need to find solutions to those areas that are lacking.
- Your progress is on their radar. Not only will they encourage you in areas where they see your potential, motivate you into areas where you might take on new direction, but also they will warn you of areas you may be treading that could bring calamity and not be in your best interest.
- They will put perspective challenges on the table of uncharted territory that could spell F-A-I-L-U-R-E for you. The great part of all this is that if you do fail they will not condemn you but congratulate you for being willing to be stretched. This is ultimately how you will grow and succeed.
- Finally, you will notice throughout the relationship, they take their position as your mentor seriously. They keep you accountable and look forward to the day when you no longer need them to guide you. This lets them know they did their job. This lets you know you chose wisely.
Don’t settle for mediocre mentorship! You deserve the best mentoring available to help you in your journey, so, vet your mentor candidate well. If possible, get someone to help you find a good fit for you. If your mentor is assigned to you for whatever reason, have a discussion about the points raised here and more. Let your mentor of mentor candidate know you mean business!
Anita Arrunategui/Canva Pro