What is a good mentor?
Is there someone in your workplace with good leadership and communication skills, someone you see as a potential advisor, who is older than you by five, ten, or even fifteen years? Is there someone who you admire with experience to share? Finding a mentor connects you with a person more knowledgeable and experienced than you.
As a mentee, you will gain so many benefits in your workplace.
A good mentor/counselor will:
1) help you grow your skills,
2) encourage your professional development,
3) help you make better decisions,
4) give you a new perspective,
5) help you learn your workplace culture,
6) increase your potential for promotion,
7) help you to problem solve,
8) transfer knowledge to you.
How to find one:
Mentorship works best if you like her and she likes you. If you have someone in mind, you might enter her office late one afternoon and ask for help with the issue you are confronting. If she says, “Sure, have a seat and let’s talk,” you are golden. That will begin your mentor-mentee relationship. Or, you might sit down next to her at lunch and say, “I have this problem I’m trying to deal with. Can you help me figure out what to do?”
If your workplace has a mentorship program you should take advantage of it. However, sometimes these assigned mentors, or guides, are not quite right. Both personalities must click to make the relationship work well. Your mentor really need to care about you.
What is in it for your mentor?
You may not realize that mentors gain from the relationship, too. A good mentor-mentee relationship validates her leadership skills, and she will become recognized as an advisor. You both will learn to communicate clearly and gain new perspectives. The mentor will enjoy giving back and helping new talent (you).