Tuesday, April 29, 2008

10 Things About Finding Your Mentor

This post brings together the latest thinking on mentors. As we're bombarded and immersed in a constant flow of information, marketing messages, corporate uncertainty, and constant technology change, we need guidance from trusted sources. The tribes of old had their wise men and women, the sages, today we have mentors.

1. Prepare for your mentor. Work on how you see your life: what you like and what you want to change. The mentor will tell you to do this anyway, so get a head start. Think about categories such as health/fitness, career, investments, relationships, family, friends. Some areas are in much better shape than others.

2. Realize that you need more of a mentor committee, or team, rather than THE mentor.

3. It may be worthwhile, however, to pay a professional coach to work with you for a time. It costs money, but you're dealing with professional whose reputation is on the line.

4. A mentor or coach does not necessarily hand out the advice; she asks important questions. How much you put into answering them is your business.

5. Having your own questions articulated can speed up the process in a mentoring relationship. That's one purpose your journal serves.

6. A lot of times the mentor tells you what you already knew, but were afraid to face. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

7. The effectiveness of your mentor depends a great deal on how much you trust him. Your feelings may guide you.

8. Available and effective mentors often wear disguises. One can look just like a little old lady; another can appear to be that nice guy at the office.

9. Sometimes your friends are thinly-veiled mentors but the one who helps you decide which bikini to buy is not necessarily the one who helps you plan your investments.

10. The answer to your question can come from absolutely the most UNexpected source. It could be a seemingly random conversation, or something you read, or something your seat mate read and is telling you. Be alert for these kinds of answers. They're free of charge.

Wednesday is the last day of the post-writing contest. Send your entry to mixonian@gmail.com and get the chance to win $50!