What makes a great mentor?
A mentor is someone further along in life than you. They are someone you look up to. They are the type of person you hope to become. Here are the top qualities of a great mentor:
Selflessness. They have your best interest at heart. They are not selfishly or pridefully wanting to boast about themselves. They are humble. They are good listeners. They’re willing to spend time investing in you.
Shared Values and beliefs. Any mentor can guide you, but in order for them to guide you in the right direction, it’s you both need to be in alignment when it comes to spirituality and moral standards.
Trustworthiness. This requires a degree of vulnerability on both ends, as well as up-front communication.
How to approach a Mentor
This is where you have to dig deep. This is where you set aside your pride. This where you have to not care about sounding stupid. If you want to save yourself from a lot of scars, if you’re overwhelmed, defeated and in need of direction, you’ve gotta find a mentor. Here’s are a few simply ways:
Buy Them Coffee. – This is the simplest and often, the most effective.
“Hey, would you mind if we grab coffee sometime this this week? I’d love to just hang out and chat.”
Offer To Help. Is the person a business owner? Maybe they could use an intern.
Are they a tradesman? Maybe they could use an extra hand on their next project.
Are they a musician or artist? They might be looking to teach you their skills!
The idea here is the more value you add, the more value you’ll receive. When you show someone that you genuinely care, they will naturally want to share what they know with you. People like to teach other people.
“Is there anything I can help you with? Do you have any projects you’re working on?”
Ask for Accountability. Sometimes mentorship means someone to keep you accountable. If this is someone you already know and trust, ask them if they wouldn’t mind a weekly meetup, or a daily text check-in. It could be for anything from overcoming addiction to becoming more social. Try to make it so that you both have buy-in.
“I’m in the process of working through ______ and could really use some accountability. Do you mind checking in with me and asking ______ if you don’t hear from me every Friday/morning/etc.?”
What to ask your mentor
People are complicated, but our needs our simple. We want to talk about ourselves. We want someone to listen. We just want to be understood. So, instead of starting off by talking all about yourself and your struggles, seek to learn about them. Show genuine interest in who they are and their interests. Ask them about their hobbies, their family, their work, their journey. Find their passion. They will start to come alive, and soon enough they’ll be asking you the same and you’ll have your opportunity. But, don’t rush it. This isn’t the doctor’s office where you’re paying by the appointment. This is a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship. Here are a couple easy, non-awkward questions. “I’ve always struggled with ______. How do you handle ______?”
“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” – Oprah Winfrey
One person can change your life. Don’t compromise on the qualities of a great mentor. Add value to another person, and be ready to take notes.
What are the key areas in your life that you’d like to grow in? What are some mindset struggles that you’d like to overcome?
Make a list of people in your life who would make a great mentor. Reach out to just one and invite them to coffee. Remember to add value.. Share with a friend what you learned in your conversation. Lastly, pick a cadence for your gatherings and set the expectation with your mentor.