Most of us have heard that having a mentor is good for us. Yet, setting out to find a mentor isn’t always the easiest task. In this episode, I share several strategies that will provide a clear path to tracking down a mentor, without relying on the awkward, “Will you be my mentor?” opening question.
In Greek mythology, Mentor was a friend of Odysseus and was placed in charge of his son Telemachus when Odysseus left for war.
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary calls a mentor, “A trusted counselor or guide.”
What do you want to get from mentoring?
- Probably what you aren’t good at (or at least not yet)
- Plus, it’s something that’s important for you to get better at
- Who do you know who’s good at that?
- Are there multiple people?
- You don’t have to know them today
- Your greatest mentors will never expect anything
Identify specifically how someone can help and begin there
- Make a mind map of the people who could help
- Create a board of directors
- Start off with a specific question
- Know that not everyone will respond or won’t be willing to help
- Wait on asking someone to “be a mentor”
- Everyone has a different context for this
- It could seem like a huge commitment
- It’s awkward if they don’t want to make that committment
Find a way to connect regularly
- This is where proximity and formal programs can help
- Make a point to connect regularly
- It’s great to be influenced by those that you don’t speak with regularly, but find people you will see
Be willing to ask for help
- Get out of the “asking for help is a weakness” mentality
What’s something in front of you right now that a new perspective would be helpful with? My challenge to you is to go out and identify a person and approach them with a specific question and ask advice. Remember, you don’t have to take the advice. If they don’t respond, identify a second person.
Past shows that might also be helpful to you on the topic of mentoring:
- Episode #61: How to Start A Mentoring Program with guest Stella Cowan
- Episode #63: Practical Advice for Mentoring with guest Kurt Allebach
LinkedIn citrus challenge winner: Noris Sanchez – Congrats Noris…please send me your address for the delivery of oranges!
Are you in the New York City area? If so, drop me a line if you’re interested in getting together for breakfast on the morning of Saturday, October 12, 2013. I’m planning the first official #CFLshow community meet-up!
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