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What does it take to become a successful mentor?

Posted by Katerina Jones - Chief Marketing Officer on 1/15/24 12:57 PM
Katerina Jones - Chief Marketing Officer
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shutterstock_2397633771 (1) [Converted]January is designated as National Mentoring Month, with the purpose of bringing together and growing the mentoring movement, acknowledging the impact of relationships and the significance of mentorship. Regardless of what field you are in or how successful you have been in your career; it is important to recognize the value of having some type of mentor. Not only can you gain from their guidance, but you can also make a positive impact on someone else's journey by being a mentor yourself. 

The right mentorship goes beyond emotional support and advice. It can be imperative in helping growing leaders understand and successfully navigate the political minefields that every organization encounters. This can also include support from others to champion your ideas and goals.

Having a mentor provides a valuable advantage as you will receive a unique perspective. So why is mentoring so valuable and how can you go about finding or becoming a mentor?

Mentors like portfolios should be very diversified. Apply these best practices when finding mentors:

  • Remember the 3 A’s – Your mentor should be:
    • Available
    • Analytical
    • An Active Listener
  • Someone that has the skills and experience you’d like to have.
  • Someone that you can trust.
  • Someone that you know will be honest with you, no matter how tough the situation is.
  • Do they have a strong network?
  • Can they give constructive criticism rather than be judgmental?
  • Does the person put time into developing themselves?
  • Diversity - Seek mentors with similar and dissimilar interests for different perspectives, this includes your personal life including family and friends.
  • Seek mentors of various age groups. 
  • Find someone who can support you in challenging times, but also challenge you and push you to be even better than you ever expected to be.

What makes a great mentor?

  • Remember the 3 C’s
    • Connection
    • Communication
    • Collaboration
  • Be a knowledgeable expert in your field. Mentors should possess extensive experience and be well-versed in the industry.
  • A great mentor should have a positive outlook on the industry he/she works in.
  • Honesty and integrity are key! To help your mentees thrive in their career, it is crucial to prioritize honesty, integrity, and transparency. Providing them with sincere feedback is essential for their growth.

How do you go about asking someone to be a mentor?

  • Most likely you’ve connected with this person on some level and respect them or even admire them. Therefore, be direct, ask for their guidance, and tell them you value their experience and would like to learn and grow from them.
  • You can also test the water with a specific project to start.
  • I would also ask them if they have the time.

With this insight, professionals of all ages can have a better understanding of what to look for in a mentor, and how to grow their professional relationship to achieve immense potential – in transportation or any other industry. shutterstock_2250975121 [Converted]