Dear Happy Investor, why is mentoring so important if you want to be successful? Well, because mentorship allows you to make tremendous progress if you are open to it. For those who are looking for personal development, mentoring simply cannot be missing. In fact, without mentoring you will develop less quickly than is actually possible.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at mentoring, and why mentorship is so important for personal development. In doing so, you’ll also learn how mentoring can take you to the next level. Both in self-development and in career. And if think “where can I find a good mentor?”, then you should definitely read on because I will help you understand the several ways of receiving high-quality mentorship.
Let us begin!
Why is mentoring so important for self-development?
Mentoring is crucial for your self-development. That is, for anyone who wants to develop themselves, and who wants to experience personal growth. For whatever reason, that may be. They will all need a mentor. At least, if you want to experience exponential growth. Because a good mentor is 10-years further than you are.
A good mentor has made many mistakes before and can save you from them. So that you can save yourself from making unnecessary mistakes. Not that making mistakes is bad. No not at all, because you learn the most from making mistakes. But then you might as well learn from someone else’s mistakes. From your mentor. Learning from others is, therefore, part of working more effectively.
And that’s exactly why mentorship is so important. He or she has already experienced the long struggle, and this knowledge can put you on a springboard.
The mentor can guide lead you more effectively to the goal. This doesn’t necessarily have to be in a step-by-step plan, but in a framework where you can’t go outside the box but can still learn from the process itself. And he or she will also question why you do or do not (have to) do certain things.
I was lucky to have had a very good supervisor at my first job. In a short time, we became friends, and he became a good mentor to me. He was at least ten years ahead in his development, and with his help, I was an equal sparring partner within two years. Thus, our relationship evolved from supervisor-employee to mentor-mentee to two sparring partners and friends.
In short, mentoring is of crucial value to anyone who wants to experience personal growth in an effective way. But for this, you need a good mentor. Only, how do you find a suitable mentor?
1. Choose a suitable mentor
In my career, I’m always looking for a good mentor. I look for skilled people who have many years of experience in a domain I want to learn more from. Choose someone who is at least ten years further in his or her development than you are, because that way you can stretch the most. And certainly don’t worry about whether these people are open to it. If you show that you are eager to learn, they will be happy to help. And if all goes well, within a few weeks or months you will develop quickly and thus become a direct sparring partner. In this way, the mentor also learns from you.
You can select a suitable mentor for what you want to learn. So choose an expert in the field you want to learn more about.
Another selection criteria is the personality of the mentor. Is there a match in your personality? Because of course you are very eager to learn, but you are still an emotional person. And people just open up more to other people they like. Thus, if you have a good (friendly) connection with your mentor, you will learn more and faster.
Some advice: do you feel confident enough to speak your mind to your mentor? By seeking the truth and leaving your ego out, you can experience exponential personal development in a relatively short time.
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2. The characteristics of both a good mentor and a good student
To make the most of good mentoring, you need two things. The first is you, the mentee, and the second is the mentor.
The qualities of a good mentee are quite a few. But I personally believe that the most important traits are encompassed by curiosity, openness, and optimism. Continue to maintain a hunger for personal growth, and continue to delve into understanding. This will also keep you more open, and with an open mindset, you will be more flexible and adaptable. It’s called survival of the fittest for a profound reason!
When we look at the mentor, a good mentor would be someone who is highly developed in both IQ and EQ. That is, his or her mentee should be first and foremost during the mentorship. It is about the mentee, about the personal growth that the mentee can go through. Thus, a good mentor should be able to take abstraction from his own frames of mind and experiences. So like you, he should also be open-minded to be able to look at situations from multiple angles.
And in addition, a good mentor facilitates. He or she outlines the framework but does not fill in too much for the mentee. This ensures that you as a mentee cannot fall outside the frameworks, which saves you from making very big mistakes. But the mentor does leave room open for the mentee to discover, making manageable mistakes, and learn from them. Keeping the possibility open for you to reflect on why you are doing something, and what the value of that is. That’s how you go through personal growth.
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3. Where do you find good mentorship?
To find a suitable mentor you will first of all have to be goal-oriented. So first define the goal well.
What do you want to learn? How do you wish to become successful?
And only when the goal is defined, you can look for people who have already reached this goal and are ten years further in their development than you are. Setting goals ensures that you will be effective. Because if you don’t have a goal, you don’t know where you are going and that alone will cost you an enormous amount of valuable time.
Finding a good mentor who can help you in achieving your goals is easier to find than you might think. For example, there are several options, including this one:
Look around your community: are there friends or family members who can serve as your mentor?
Look around the organization where you work. For example, take a look at the organization chart. Can you just approach anyone, such as a director, for example? Yes, you can. People are willing to help provided you are willing to go for it 100% and also give them back the appreciation and gratitude.
Finally, look for as many sources of information as possible. Good books often contain 10, 20, or 30 years of experience summarized in just one book. That knowledge is invaluable. Therefore, every book contains a mentor, but make sure you choose the right books.
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4. Dare to ask
Dare to ask is my advice when it comes to finding good mentorship. Choose someone who is 10 years further along in his or her development than you are. And if that person is the director or CEO? Then so be it!? Just dare to ask the CEO, if he wants to be your mentor.
Because people are people. And people are emotional beings. For example, people like to help other people. And people also like to tell about the good things they’ve done, and how you can learn from them. This gives the mentor self-satisfaction. So don’t be afraid. On the contrary, do that director or CEO a favor for self-esteem. Because when you ask him to be your mentor, it is a Win-Win situation where the mentor can also learn from you.
After all, you have valuable knowledge and exceptional skills, right? And besides, everyone likes to be heard. Yes, even the CEO is just a human being. But beware: if you don’t connect then the mentoring will fail.
5. Mentoring can also be found in books, blogs, and videos
I had just covered this point as well. A mentor is not necessarily a person you have to have physical contact with. Take, for example, a book. Personal development books are invaluable because they contain 10, 20, or 30 years of experience in a specific field. With some motivation, you’ll read a book in just a week or two. So you can learn from more than 30 years of experience in just two weeks.
Make the most of it: take notes, ask yourself questions while reading or read good chapters again in a few months.
I read a lot as well. By a lot, I mean at least one book every two weeks. And when I’m on vacation I sometimes read two books a week. A not-so-good book I’ll scan, looking for the relevant chapters. And good books I’ll read with full attention to the last letter.
Reading has great advantages. Not only do you learn from good mentors, but you also gain more knowledge. Also, by reading different books you get multiple perspectives on a particular topic. This makes for more holistic thinking. And as Christmas on the cake, a final benefit of reading is that you actually become more intelligent. Your brain is a muscle. And so, like all muscles, you can train your brain. By reading, you train your brain.
Now I’m very curious about your experiences with mentoring. Do you already have mentorship? Or are you looking for mentorship? And what do you want to learn from mentorship? Let’s discuss it in the comments below!