How To Find A Mentor
As entrepreneurs, we all require someone to guide us in our entrepreneurial journey. Wouldn’t it be great if someone could assist us in making better decisions, based on their years of experience? We all need a mentor to help us decide what is best for the business and to make the right decisions.
What Is A Mentor?
A mentor is an experienced and seasoned professional who informally helps guide a person (or an entrepreneur) who has relatively lesser experience. A mentor offers assistance, gives suggestions and acts as a sounding board for the mentee.
A mentor and mentee’s relationship is mutually beneficial for both of them. An experienced individual (the mentor) imparts knowledge, expertise, and wisdom to a less experienced person (the mentee), while simultaneously honing their mentoring skills.
Difference Between Mentoring And Coaching
Mentoring refers to a long-term relationship that spans more than a year. The relationship between the mentor and mentee is mutually beneficial. This means the mentor helps the mentee develop professional skills or expertise, while the mentee allows the mentor to develop their leadership skills.
Coaching is usually a short-term personal relationship between two people where the coach uses thought-provoking and creative strategies to help the client develop personally or professionally.
Characteristics Of An Effective Mentor
When planning to seek a mentor, there are certain characteristics that entrepreneurs must look out for. These characteristics and attributes define the mentor and also make the process of how to find a mentor easy. Let’s consider some of the vital characteristics of an effective mentor.
- A mentor must have considerable experience to guide the mentee. Also, it is beneficial if the mentor has achieved success in their careers as that experience will help the mentee achieve his professional or personal goals.
- An effective mentor must professionally guide the mentee while maintaining a friendly and supportive relationship.
- A mentor must always have the mentee’s best interests in mind
- A mentor should tailor their mentorship style to meet the needs of the mentee.
- A mentor must be authentic, empathetic, creative as well as honest to help guide the mentee.
- A mentor’s values must be the same as that of the mentee for the two to connect and mutually benefit from each other.
- A mentor must provide insight on getting ahead as well as supporting the overall goals of the business.
Why Do You Need A Mentor?
Often entrepreneurs might question the need to find a mentor but a mentor is like the guiding light that can help a mentee in their developmental and growth journey.
A mentor provides guidance on career management that an entrepreneur may not be able to get from other sources. A mentor from the same field also provides an insider’s perspective on the business and helps make introductions to key industry contacts. A mentor can also serve as a sounding board at critical points throughout the mentee’s career.
Another crucial reason to find a mentor is that mentors can assist the mentees to identify and avoid business pitfalls. Further mentors can help their mentees work through the challenges they face to move ahead in their business.
How To Find A Mentor?
Now that it is established as to what is a good mentor and why entrepreneurs need to find a mentor, the next important step is how to find a good mentor.
To find a mentor an entrepreneur needs to consider the following pointers-
- Entrepreneurs must enlist their career goals and objectives for the business.
- Also, they must define their reasons why they require a mentor and what they wish to learn from a mentor.
- Next, entrepreneurs must narrow down someone in their network and industry, as likely candidates to casually form a professional relationship with them.
- Entrepreneurs must find a mentor who has an idea about the entrepreneur’s business, role at work, and within the industry.
- The candidate in mind for mentoring must also be capable of advising on new projects to explore related to the business. He/she must know about certifications, qualifications, and training necessary for the entrepreneurs to go ahead in their venture or field of work.
- The most vital point to remember is that a mentee should approach a mentor relationship as a business relationship while being casual and friendly. It should not start on an awkward or embarrassing note.
- The most crucial aspect of finding a mentor is that the mentor must be experienced, especially in the mentee’s industry and network. And the mentor and mentee must hold the same values.
These are some of the basic steps to follow to seek a mentor. In addition to these, there are a few other things to consider once entrepreneurs understand how to find a mentor.
- If an entrepreneur looks for a mentor with a different perspective than their own, it will help the mentee understand how to work with different people, adjust their communication styles, and think more creatively.
- Once a mentee finds a mentor, they need to listen to their mentor and value their feedback.
- It is also imperative for mentees to show gratitude to their mentor.
- Finally, mentees should maintain lasting relationships with their mentor.
These pointers will help entrepreneurs find a mentor to guide them on their journey of development and growth.
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