A mentor is also called a counselor, a guide, a tutor, a teacher, a guru, a supporter or an adviser. It is somebody, usually older and more experienced, who advises and guides a younger, less experienced person. A mentee or protégé is also refereed as a pupil, an apprentice, a disciple, a follower, a student, a trainee or an understudy.
A mentor is like a person who pokes fire and the protégé is like the firewood. If the firewood is bad, it does not matter how much you poke, the results are not good. And if the firewood is not on fire what’s the point of poking.
You need to put up a vision, if possible write it down. It must spell out a clear definition of who you are and what you want to achieve in a long term. Search things from your heart. God speaks from our hearts. Never aim to impress anyone. Find people who are doing what you are doing and find out how they are doing it. Beware of people who either want to steal your ideas or shatter your dream. Do not get into strife if they steal your ideas. Things that originate from God always stand all the tests.
Finding A Suitable Mentor
As you pray about it, increase the people you interact with. Never pitch up to someone you do not really know or understand, and say ‘I want you to be my mentor.’ Surprisingly, from my experience most people who turned up and say ‘I want you to be my mentor’ often turned out not to be good protégés.
‘Date’ a number of potential candidates before you choose or focus on one mentor. Unlike in boy-girl relationships you can have a number of mentors for different needs and purposes. A mentor is normally someone you admire, who has experience of life and has stuff to advise you. He/she must also enjoy imparting wisdom and spending time with you. Someone you can be open to. Age does not really matter. But in general they are older and of the same sex. Your mentor does not necessarily have to be in your profession or from your church.
Mentorship is a relationship that takes time and it is built on trust. Something has to click. You choose each other. In most cases it happens naturally.
Successful Mentoring Creates Meaning For The Mentor.
Successful mentoring creates meaning for the mentor. It must be a win-win situation. The question is ‘Why would someone leave other valuable things to mentor you?’ There has to be something in it for the mentor. It can be in the form of friendship or the mentor can be your boss or stakeholder somehow. People do not mentor others out of the blue. The mentor has to ‘choose’ you as well.
A good mentor can identify you potential and help you realise it, instead of forcing you to do what he thinks is good. A good mentor gives you choice all the time and is willing to let you learn from his/her mistakes and yours as well. He/she must have time to connect with you.
‘Reverse mentoring’ is a process in mentoring that has recently been discovered. It has been discovered the mentors also learn from mentees. Wise mentors use the time and interaction with mentees to learn new things, new technology, behaviour of young generations etc. This helps them to cope with the fast changing social and technological environments.
My question to you is, ‘Who is your mentor?’ The other question is ‘Who are you mentoring?’
© Copyright 2013 by It’s My Footprint.