Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be surrounded by others who want to help you work toward and accomplish your goals? We all could use a few good mentors with us along our path through life. Here are four different types of mentors you want to have by your side. Make it your goal to have these different types of people as part of your mentoring team to help you succeed. In addition, strive to fill one or more of these roles in someone else’s life. The rewards are tremendous!
Coaches are there when you need someone to help you think through difficult problems. A good coach doesn’t solve your problems for you; they help you see both the problem and your role a bit more clearly. They ask the tough questions that help you analyze your situation realistically. They don’t sugarcoat and they’ll honestly tell you if your idea is a bad one or if your plan is only half thought out. This criticism, if it comes from the right place, will help you get on the right path and avoid costly mistakes. They can coach you through tough moments, think big picture on projects and ideas, and help you solve work-related problems. Their satisfaction is knowing that they are paying it forward by helping someone who has potential.
These are some of the most important mentors to have and they are pretty rare. Most people are very inward looking. Connectors are outward-facing people whose very satisfaction comes from helping people meet each other. The Connector willingly opens up their personal or professional network to others. They are motivated by connecting people with one another to share ideas, passion and energy. This type of mentor is a valuable asset to both your personal and professional life. Sometimes it really is who you know that can make the difference, and the connector helps with that!
Find people who you admire. People who are living parts of their life in a way you aspire to, or who currently have the career that you want to have. Spend time with them and get to know their routines, their resources, how they go about their days. While their way is not the only way, you can gain valuable insight into steps you might want to take to get you closer to your goals!
Having the positive support of a Cheerleader can give you the necessary motivation to keep going. Our parents, spouses and good friends can fill this role for us in many ways; and professionally, having a person in your field saying, “you can do this” can be a tremendous asset. A Cheerleader is someone who will be genuinely happy for you when you succeed and who will cheer you on when you might be struggling.
A truly great mentor often embodies more than one of these personality profiles. Look for mentors that know when to step in, when to push, when to teach and when to inspire throughout your career. Every category of mentorship has its place in the modern business world and the most effective mentors are the ones that embody a growth mindset. Don’t forget to take a moment and reflect on what you might also have to offer to someone else. Be aware of the needs of others around you and step in if you are able. Mentoring can be a very rewarding experience for all involved!
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