Originally answered Jan 17, 2020
The role of a mentor
- Answers questions honestly, fully, and helpfully.
- Asks questions and actively listens to the responses.
- Offers relevant insights, suggestions, and relevant.
- Available on both a scheduled and ad hoc basis.
- Suggests and makes useful connections.
The value of a mentor
- Advises, assists, and supports.
- Well-connected and influential.
- Provides wisdom and the voice of experience.
- Gives guidance candidly, truthfully, and sympathetically.
- Typically not in the same organization, so offers a safe sounding board.
How to find a mentor
Many successful people are willing to share their time when approached appropriately.
- Ask someone you respect for a short initial conversation, to be followed by recurring ones if the first one goes well.
- Post in a community threaded discussion to request one.
- Write to a book author.
- Comment to a blogger.
- Reply to a tweeter.
- Contact someone whose podcast or YouTube videos you enjoy.
- Talk to a presenter at a conference.
- Visit the site of a thought leader and send an email message.
- If the author, blogger, tweeter, presenter, podcaster, YouTuber, or thought leader is unable to act as a mentor, ask them to refer someone else.
- If your organization has a formal mentoring program, sign up for it.