Get a Good MENTOR
If you are ambitious seek the experiences and advice of successful people. Look for role models that can help you.
A good mentor can save you from making unwise decisions, expensive mistakes and hasten your career advancements.
Many successful people have come from humble beginnings and have overcome challenges and hardships during their career. Most will be willing to share their experiences if you approach them in a business-like way and seek their advice.
Five of the best tips when looking for a mentor
* What is your ambition?
Where do you want to end up? Do you want to be the general manager? Do you want to own your own business? Do you want to be a politician?
You must get to know yourself. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are your career goals?
Are you looking for specific advice? Do you need a sounding board, or do you seek advice to help you on your way in your career?
It ‘s helpful to have a counselor to help you cope with unforeseen circumstances and situations that may arise. Someone to point out career choices and the directions you should take.
Don’t be too shy to seek a mentor. Most people you ask would take it as a compliment to be asked. People like to be consulted and listened to.
* Choose someone you respect
Seek mentors who you like, are easy to talk to and ones who will give you good honest advice.
Make an appointment and seek advice on a specific topic. Don’t be timid and don’t hesitate to make an appointment with a senior person, regardless of rank.
Choose different mentors for different parts of your professional or personal life. You don’t need to make mentoring a formal procedure.
* Ask questions and listen with care
Prepare your questions with care and listen to answers carefully.
Chat and ask personal questions. “Where did you grow up?” “Where were you schooled?” “How did you get this job?” “What steps did you take?” Get them talking and don’t interrupt.
Questioning and listening with care are two of the most important skills to master.
* Mutual benefits
Once there is mutual respect and confidence, both parties can benefit.
A younger person can offer their expertise in the use of modern communication technology or make suggestions through ‘new eyes’.
* Show gratitude
If you are given good advice report back. People like to hear about their part in a success story and will appreciate hearing that you have acted on their advice.
Don’t be defensive of personal criticism. Be grateful.
Mentoring is an effective low-cost training technique. It can be time-consuming but it has helped prepare many people for high profile jobs.
“Good mentees know how to ask hard questions and to remain silent when their mentor talks.
Source: “Training Secrets. Helping adults learn”. Moss Associates Ltd. “Training Secrets. A trainer’s handbook packed with proven methods and helpful hints”, Cengage Learning Asia. Also available as an e-book from Amazon.com.