A Mentor is Feedback-Centric
Effective mentors will always encourage you when you are doing something well, and conversely, they will always let you know when you might want to consider some improvements. An open and honest feedback loop is essential to this relationship because it allows you to understand the value of criticism and move away from the otherwise unhelpful and stunting connotations you might have. It also, most importantly, helps you learn from your failures and focus on growth.
Mentors who have a plan for their feedback can be very influential. Work with your mentor to make sure they are aware of your progress, so you always have an outside opinion you can trust!
A Mentor is Your ‘Number One’ Supporter
A mentor is generally someone you admire, so their support can be a great motivator in your growth. The way they support you should be in line with your best interests. Motivating you to work hard, focus, create your own foundation of support, and to be there to celebrate the wins. Being your ‘number one’ also means supporting a process for your growth. Helping to refocus your efforts after a setback, and ultimately helping see you cross your own finish line.
A Mentor is Experienced and Knowledgeable
This may seem obvious, but it’s important to find a mentor who has a proven track record in your preferred area of growth. Do some research into some mentors by looking them up online, or speaking with mutual connections. And, when you find someone you’d like to meet, ask them to share their stories with you. As with all learning experiences, it’s helpful to ask a ton of questions!
A Mentor Genuinely Wants To See You Succeed
Lastly, a great mentor will genuinely care about your growth. Not only that, they should be your biggest fan! Genuine interest in your growth will be the deciding factor in your relationship, as it motivates all actions. A mentor should be willing and able to think beyond what they can gain, in order to focus on your collective effort.
Once you find a mentor, it’s a good idea to set up regular meetings so you can check-in with each other and get used to the process of being held accountable within your goals. Mentorships can be long-term and highly influential relationships. Inspiring the best in yourself is often a two-person job. When you go through the process, it can be long and arduous, but your mentor will be there with you every step of the way!