4 Things To Look For In A Mentor

from Forbes

Mentors can help you in many ways in your career. They can help you gain confidence, develop skills in a new job, and even help you get promoted. Many women credit having a mentor as a key to their success.

What should you look for when choosing a mentor?

More here.

,

22 Responses to 4 Things To Look For In A Mentor

  1. Gabrielle Pietanza May 1, 2018 at 12:01 pm #

    It is no secret that individuals as a whole work better with the support and motivation of others. Mentors are the ultimate supporter and assist in achieving your full potential and navigating your career path. Speaking with an individual that has been where you are and is able to relate to you and give you advice can greatly assist in achieving your goals. With that said mentors should be chosen carefully. A mentor as this article states should have compatibility, contrast, expertise, and trust. A strong mentor does not necessarily have to be an individual who is years older or in the same situation as you or in the same field. A mentor is a person just like every other person. This person however should have these traits previously mentioned and should empower you and push you forward even if that means being your toughest critic.

    A mentor is an individual that you will be working closely with and with that said this should be someone that you get along with. When going to get career advice you do not want to dread having to meet with someone. Forcing a relationship will not foster healthy communication and feeling comfortable is important. There is however a line and feeling too comfortable is not healthy as this is a professional relationship and there should be a line as to how comfortable is too comfortable. Contrast is healthy and will allow growth. A mentor does not want to produce another one of themselves. You are not them and although you may seek and appreciate their guidance, you are different people. Although a mentor may not have all the answers it is important that this individual has some sort of expertise in your respected field so they have the ability to assist you on your path. Trust is the final important feature and in my opinion paramount. If you do not trust the individual you are confiding in you may not paint the full picture and they will be unable to help you to the extent that they may be able too. Overall a mentor wants you to thrive and in order for them to assist you in that process you must foster a honest relationship.

  2. Nicholas DiBari May 2, 2018 at 10:45 am #

    Mentorship is something that I have always thought of as a vital part of gaining the experience needed in order to complete work in a given field effectively. I have had mentors across a wide range of facets of my life; both on the personal and professional fronts. Upon arriving here at Seton Hall, I quickly gained the mentorship of a multitude of individuals, some faculty and some students. I attribute much of my success and quick acclimation to life at university to these individuals and, in retrospect, I am not sure how much I would have enjoyed the year or if I would have had half of the opportunities I was privileged too without these mentors. I agree with the article that having mentors with experiences and perspectives that contrast your own is vitally important to establishing a strong and valuable mentor/mentee dynamic. Each of the people whom I consider to be mentors to me are, in some way or another, quite different from me. I think that, as the article asserts, being surrounded by a diversity of experience and thought has allowed me to see the world differently, and I truly have a sense of how far I have come since moving on campus in the fall. As I mentioned earlier, mentorship is not exclusively limited to the academic or professional realms, however. To me, a mentor can simply be someone who is there for you to help you through the little curveballs that life tends to throw at you from time to time. They are the people who will go out of their way to give you a helping hand without any benefit to themselves. They do it simply out of care; not out of obligation. I find now that these mentorship relationships often develop into friendships that transcend the field in which you are being mentored. I know now that some of my closest friendships that I have on campus originated from people who were mentors to me in some capacity or another. It just goes how valuable mentorships can be for both mentees and mentors alike.

  3. Nicholas Marinelli May 3, 2018 at 12:07 am #

    Having a mentor is one of the most underrated and underappreciated tools to utilize in life. I currently have two mentors within my professional life: one for leadership and one for my fraternity. I am blessed to have two incredible figures that are not only successful in their respected fields, but have incredible resumes, character, and knowledge of life. This is key to any successful mentor and to have the ability to spread that knowledge with others is quite amazing.
    According to Forbes writer, Ashira Prossack, a mentor should possess these four qualities: Compatibility, Contrast, Expertise, and Trust. I too agree with this; however, I would also add Effective Communicator and Adaptable to that list. Of course, there are numerous qualities, adjectives, and verbs we can throw out there, but they have to make sense. It is interesting that Prossack has down Compatibility and then Contrast right after each other. They seem to be completely opposites, however to possess the two is quite important.
    A mentor is someone that you will need to work with at all times and need to learn from; therefore, to say they have to be compatible is an understatement. This quality works hand in hand with the quality I chose- Effective Communicator. To be compatible and effectively communicate what you have to say is a recipe for greatness. To be compatible, you simply have to be able to gel with that person and be able to work with them. You have to be willing to meet often, voice and listen to opinions, and of course- communicate effectively. There is nothing worse than a mentor/mentee who never reaches out to the other because they lack the necessary skills to get in touch with the other.
    The second characteristic of contrast is interesting and I do agree with the writer’s opinion here. Both of my mentors are not completely the same as me, nor completely different. There are striking differences and this is crucial to the relationship and the “mentoring” that is going on. For example, if the mentee is a very overzealous person, and the mentor is the opposite, it could open the mentee’s eyes to what they maybe should do during certain circumstances. This goes along with adaptability. It is important to be adaptable while being a mentor; your mentee could be someone so vastly different from you, that you have to completely change your approach to the matter.
    The last two characteristics are two that are simply obvious. If you are going to be a mentor to someone, then you have to be knowledgeable on the subject and have experiences to tell of. If you hold leadership positions, have absolutely phenomenal grades, and a knack for helping others, then being a mentor maybe for you. However, if you are someone that is lazy, unwilling, and untrustworthy, then this is clearly not the job for you. Being a mentor hold incredible responsibilities that requires time, effort, and care for the other individual.

  4. Connor Wiedeman May 3, 2018 at 1:30 pm #

    Having a mentor is something that can make you twice the person you were without one. Mentors show you the ropes, and teach you the tips and tricks that you need to succeed. When I first got a job at a tree nursery in my town, I was very lost and didn’t really know what to do until one of the workers took me under his wing and showed me how things worked in the day to day tasks. I shadowed him for a week and the owner saw that he was teaching me how to do everything, and began to just assign us tasks together that way it was easier for us. If he had not approached me on the second day and mentored me, then I would not have been nearly as an effective worker as I was. While he was decent as his job, he certainly didn’t fit all, or any, of the mentor attributes described in the article. To show how a mentorship can go sour very quickly if these attributes are not met, I later quit that job partly due to him. He was not the smartest guy, and after a week of being with him on the job he jokingly told me that he just got out of prison for armed robbery, then proceeded to show me his inmate ID card. After this I certainly did not trust him as much as I did, and I once saw him steal a couple dollars in tips from another worker. He continued to attempt to follow me around and mentor me and I later quit. This is why being able to end a mentor-mentee arrangement in a real work place is important because if you do not have the right one, it can be extremely detrimental to the worker and possibly drive them to a different job.
    While that was definitely a negative example of a mentor that I have had, I have also had very positive experiences that benefitted me greatly. And coincidentally, all of them fit into the mold described in the article. In my opinion, the most important aspect of a mentor mentee relationship is trust. The whole foundation of a mentor ship is based on trusting their advice and guidance. If the mentee does not trust their mentor, then the relationship is pointless because then they might not be truly following the mentors advice and guidance if they don’t trust it. Secondly, contrast is another very important factor in a mentor relationship. While too much contrast could not be a good thing, having some difference in their thinking process could result in a very productive relationship. If both the mentor and the mentee think the same way, then there is almost no point in the relationship because what the mentor is advising, the mentee has probably already thought of it.
    I think that companies implementing a mentor system in the workplace is a great idea and will help new employees acclimate to the workplace and even better them as a person or improve their problem solving after hearing experienced opinions. While I think the system is good and helpful to employees, a key factor to the program working is the ability for employees to choose a new mentor. Citing my previous anecdote, if an employee were to be assigned the wrong mentor, it could spell bad news for their working experience, so having the option of getting a mentor that better suits them is key for programs like these to be successful.

  5. JERRY WU May 3, 2018 at 9:36 pm #

    For someone to have a mentor means that he or she have someone that acts as if the person is simply twice the individual that you are. They are the ones to teach and demonstrate the tips and advice that you need to succeed later in life! Personally, I feel that it is one of the most underappreciated tools to have in one’s life. For me, it was always my parents. Even until this day, I ask them for help with the struggles that I have from time to time, even at the most inconvenient times, to be honest. One of the things they taught me was how to be an efficient worker, whether in the work force or in the classroom. An example of how they showed me was when I have shadowed my father in the workplace. Once in a while up until I went off to live in college, he would take me under his wing and showed me how things worked from day to day. One of the more important lesson that that I gained from this experience was that you do not have to necessarily like the person you work with, but you just have to show respect for them and be able to trust them. This is because it is impossible to complete tasks efficiently with others if he or she cannot work well with others.

  6. Lauren Woodward May 3, 2018 at 9:48 pm #

    One of the greatest tools to improve your job or educational success is to have a good mentor. A mentor can advise you to take the right path and help you when you need it. Especially when you’re thrown into a new situation—freshman year of college, a new job, etc—a mentor will be the most helpful guide you have access to. When working with your mentor, it is important to keep a few things in mind, as this article points out. The author defines that your mentor should have good compatibility with you, a different personality, expertise, and trustworthiness.
    Obviously, it is hard to work with someone that you cannot tolerate. If you and your mentor are too different, working with them might be a nightmare. Although the article states that your personalities should differ in some way, too much of a difference can lead to issues and disagreements between you and your mentor. There should be just enough of a contrast that theres variability in the methods and ideas reproduced by the mentor and mentoree collaborating; but without headache. Your mentor should also be educated on the area that you are working on. Although experience and title are good qualities for a mentor to have, you really want to find a mentor that is knowledgable about the career that you are pursuing. Age isn’t a factor to really look for, as someone younger can be just as knowledgable (maybe even more) than someone who is older. A factor that should matter most is how trustworthy your mentor is. The mentoree should be able to confide in their mentor in order for their collaboration process to work efficiently.
    Although I do not have a mentor that I visit often, I have the Freshman Studies mentor I was supplied with for my first year here at Seton Hall. He helped me understand the different resources that were available to me on campus and what classes I could take to improve my experience of my first year. He and I worked very well together, and he even took some of the same professors that I’m taking now when he was an undergrad. Overall, my first experience of having a mentor was fantastic, however I’m more excited to find a mentor that I would work with more than my Freshman Studies one. He was able to guide me through the basics that led to the rest of my college experience, but now I’m ready to work with a mentor to help me with my career.

  7. Daniel Kim May 4, 2018 at 10:02 am #

    Before coming to college, I never knew the importance of mentors. Only after I ran into a cumbersome situation, a friend, who was a graduate student, helped guide me through my difficult ordeal. Ever since then, I reached out to him with my problems and relied on him to help guide through any issue. One of the best advice I received was sending invitational letters to HR managers in Linkedin, especially if I am interested in their companies and internship positions. I honestly do not think I would have gone this far in life without people like my friend. Especially as an immigrant who came to this country, I believe that everyone can benefit from a mentor-mentee relationship.
    Especially now, I believe that people do need mentors in their lives more than ever. At a time when misinformation constantly surrounds people and with constant stimulation, people often are confused. People such as students and young professionals often struggle with finding their identities. They try to figure out their strengths and weaknesses. At the same time, the internet and social media platforms can often distract them from discovering who they are and what types of people they want to become. Technologies are advancing at such a rapid pace that even lawmakers and regulators are having a hard time to adapt to the changing time. Things are becoming more challenging for someone to go on a quest of self-discovery with the constant bombardment of information from places such as the internet and social media. Although such platforms and software lead us to quickly access to information, awareness, and social activism, these platforms arguably also encourage us to indulge in instant gratification and cause depression (https://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch001810.htm).
    However, a mentor can help direct a person to discover what sort of potentials he or she may have. Especially someone who went through similar struggles and challenges can be a tremendous source of wisdom and knowledge for someone who is currently going through their own sets of issues. With someone like me, I discovered that places such as Linkedin are underutilized resources that college students can use to reach out to certain companies and people that they admire and want to work for in the future. I was able to find people who were able to give me tips and insights on how they went about with their professional journeys.

  8. marcello bertuzzelli May 4, 2018 at 10:14 am #

    I have had the pleasure of encountering a few different mentors on my journey through life as I have now made it to Seton Hall University and feel blessed for it. I feel that a mentor can help in many ways especially when it comes to a helping hand or just someone to talk with. Google’s dictionary describes a mentor as an experienced and trusted advisor, but as I just mentioned, sometimes they can act as a person to just conversate with.
    For me, I am lucky to have a family that seeks success in whatever it is that we do. My mother holds a position of authority at a financial firm and networks with many great minds, including Donald Trump. She has helped me out through my life by acting as a mentor and teaching me many things that will help me in my future. Along with her wisdom, she has taught me to network myself; with new people and the great minds that she herself works with. Her introductions have led me to great relationships with successful businesspersons and congressional representatives.
    I have been able to get close with two people in particular. Thomas DeRita and Richard Rosenblatt are two very successful people that I have had the pleasure of calling my mentors. Thom works as an agent for professional baseball players coming from the foreign countries like the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. However, that is just part of his job as he also plays a big role Florida Government and works as the CEO for ReSource Group NA Inc., which is a government relations firm that specializes in correction, city government, land use, permitting , developer’s agent. Richard is the CEO at Rosenblatt Securities Inc., which operates from the 59th floor of the Trump Building on Wall Street. He has a strong financial background that started from the bottom; talking numbers on the floor of the NYSE.
    Both of these people give me a diverse look on how things are done and where I can go with my own ideas. They are loving people who want the best for me and I know I can always call for advice.
    Mentors are success driven and that is what separates a good mentor from a bad one. They follow the guidelines expressed in Forbes article stating that a mentor should be trustworthy, have expertise, contrast, and compatibility. I acclaim much of my knowledge and drive towards success to my mentors, mom included. I strongly recommend to anyone who does not have one to search for someone who wants the best for them and just have a conversation. Your mentor does not have to be someone with outrageous success, but definitely someone who wants it or knows the path towards it.

  9. Luke Nadolny May 4, 2018 at 10:35 am #

    Mentors are one of the key components to success in the real world. Not everyone mentor can have the best experience or the biggest title, or the best reputation, but they do need to have the experience that you will find valuable. You and your mentor need to find similarities between yourselves, and the best bet would be to find one that has been down the same path as you. What is interesting about this article is that the author says that you need to find compatibility with your mentor, but he also says that you need to be unlike your mentor at the same time. The reasoning for this is that if there is a part of you different than part of your mentor, they can challenge you to step out of your comfort zone, which is very beneficial in the long run. I have had many mentors in my life, varying from family members to teachers in school, and each on of them has gotten me to where I am today. Each one has challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and each time i have grown as a person, so these traits that are mentioned in this article are traits that i can relate to. Mentors do not need to be the best at what they do, they just need to be like you.

  10. Luis F Gonzalez Jr May 4, 2018 at 12:10 pm #

    Having a mentor is really helpful because they offer another perspective on a mutual interest. Both of you have something in common which is why the mentor and mentored are paired, this is a great opportunity to explore new routes and evaluate the path you are on. Having a mentor from the start of your career or simply in life can enrich your understanding of different subjects and ideas. Healthy criticism is a promising method of understanding new outlooks and becoming informed on a variety of issues. Mentors are great friends and leaders, participating in the formation of the mentored.

    Personally, I don’t recall having a mentor but I can relate this idea to my parents. We have a mutual interest of bettering my chances in life with opportunities and guidance. I am grateful to have parents because without them, I would probably deter from the path I am currently on. Parents instill morals, interests, etc. into your mind from a young age, hoping these teaching will offer a greater version of yourself, helping you and others. These mentors understand that a good upbringing is crucial because in a sense it is all the lessons they have learnt while growing up. These lessons and experiencing told and forewarned are to prevent the same mistake of theirs in us. They want us to have a head start on our journey of trial and error. Parents understand that mistakes is how you learn and hope that their lesson will help you in the long run when you encounter similar issues.

    Mentors, for me, are everyone. I see every individual as a story, filled with experience I can learn from. I don’t ignore what they say but instead analyze and question it, in order to grasp a bigger understanding of it. Everyone is different with different paths and different lessons. My job is to listen others and learn from their wisdom because everyone has knowledge on life but many people don’t acknowledge it. They correlate age with wisdom but everyone who has a story, a story with purpose has a lesson to teach.

  11. zhijie Yang May 4, 2018 at 1:04 pm #

    Mentors are more experienced professionals in the fields we work in. They can provide us with professional guidance, advice, and help from a real-world perspective. It can bring us a lot of benefits. And a good mentor, I think it should be a person with wisdom, and willing to share his knowledge and experience to help me succeed. It’s like when you feel uneasy and needs help, there is always a good partner you can trust. They can help you set and achieve career goals, make informed business decisions, overcome the challenges of the workplace, learn new skills or provide external, objective solutions when you face job setbacks.
    Then I think when looking for a mentor, there should be several aspects. First, I don’t think that anyone who has more than 20 or 30 years of experience should be looking for a mentor. It is true that they will have considerable commercial experience, but for the current way of looking for a career, it is clearer that those who have just worked for a year or two are clear because they have just experienced this stage. A person with 20 years of work experience may just provide general advice. And those of you who have been in office for a year or two earlier than you, through their point of view, you can think about – what you need to change to achieve the position of the person who worked two years earlier than you.
    Second, you can find more than one tutor. Teachers with different backgrounds will have different ways of thinking and give you different suggestions. Put together their suggestions and summarize them to find the one that suits you best. The so-called optimization options. Third, identify what goals you want to achieve from your mentoring relationship. Once the mentors have been found, the mentees must clearly understand what their expectations are. For example, how often do you meet and how often you spend each time. We need to actively promote this relationship so that those who give up their time to guide you can see your sincerity, feel respected in this established relationship, and guide you more carefully.
    Fourth, I think not only to find an experienced tutor but more importantly to find a tutor you like. People should be more willing to spend time with attractive people and be more motivated and inspiring in communication. The energy invested will also be more focused.

  12. Tanner Purcel May 4, 2018 at 3:44 pm #

    Mentors can be one of the most influential and important people in someone’s life. Whether it is in the workforce, sports, frats, or anything else, mentors provide people with help and experience. One interesting point the article makes is that mentors should have contrasting views as the mentee. This is an undervalued but important point. If our mentor has the same beliefs and experience as me, then I am not being pushed outside of my comfort zone and therefore not learning as much as they could. A mentor is also not attempting to make the mentee like them. Everyone is unique and the mentor should be there to support and show one the ropes, not to tell someone what to do.

  13. Lucas Rodriguez May 4, 2018 at 6:24 pm #

    If you’ve ever been on YouTube and got caught in their monopolistic powerhouse scheme, then you have must likely become victim to the world of advertisement. One of the most reoccurring ads was of this entrepreneur who proceeded to show off his car collection, before slowly emphasizing that his book collection was larger- this individual is Tai Lopez. Tai Lopez is one of your average self-made millionaires who puts most of his wealth on his incessant drive to learn and read, but one of the most emphasized elements he implements in his discussions for marketing and entrepreneurship is the importance of mentors. He explains, that being able to communicate with someone who is more experienced, sometimes older, and is in a situation you want to gradually excel towards is one of the most important elements of becoming successful. For him, mentorship is an opportunity to achieve a sensation of ultimate wisdom and knowledge; a direct step by step to achieving your ambitions. In such a business related environment, Lopez’s mentors had been in CEO and top spot corporative positions, and were able to guide him towards books to read and teach him the structural backbone of the business world without even a spot of actual experience. This had been his motivational platform which he excelled from, as he went from living in a home with his mother on the couch to living in a mansion amid Hollywood, California, only spreading his wisdom he received. If we shift focus towards illustrious figures such as Kobe Bryant, we could see his mentor as Michael Jordan- someone who helped expand his skill with his professional knowledge. Although we may have individuals who are successful and self-taught such as Hans Zimmer or Leonardo DiCaprio, mentorship is a key route in which success could efficiently and more rapidly be achieved. This one on one conversation, or group discussion with someone who is in a position that you look up towards is a key aspect in gathering intimate data and personal expertise that will help you excel as an intellectual. Additionally, mentors see how we stand in our roaring ambitions, and are sources of encouragement and directly tell you what you may need improvement on. This tunnel of direct knowledge is a key core element in allowing an individual to grasp the boundaries of where he stands, and what he must achieve; a personal guide that will allow you to see what must be done in an organized manner. This form of mentorship can come in any direct form such as family members, teachers, and professional workers whom you aspire to become like. As the article also touches upon, contrast is an important feature in this instance of personal growth. Conversing with someone that holds a position you believe is far from your “possibility zone” or comfort regions will promote you to overcome such weakness and give your insight on such areas where you lack knowledge. Just as if my mentor was a Broadway actor and I was rather stage fright, this contrast would allow me to potentially receive help in overcoming such fears. Personally, I believe this form of mentorship transcends actually personal one on one discussion and could be something indirect. I find myself motivated by videos and actors who are in positions I would like to become in, as I continue to watch videos on their successes and how it may be achievable. This non-direct mentorship is something that I believe most individuals experience, either learning or becoming motivated by certain illustrious individuals without ever meeting them. With a world of unlimited possibility and ambition, mentorship is an aspect that allows an individual to grow toward their ambitions, as the mentor themselves have certainly been in aspiring positons prior to their successes.

  14. Dean Spenzos May 4, 2018 at 8:06 pm #

    I think this was actually a really helpful article that talks about a topic that no class ever will. A mentor is someone who is going to guide you through a career and is going to open up a lot of opportunities for you. If you don’t know what to look for in someone who is going to be detrimental in your life then things are going to be a lot more difficult than they need to be. The very first point the article makes about compatibility is one of the best points. A mentor is going to be in your life for years and if you are not compatible then it is never going to work out. I know what it is like to force a relationship because it is something I thought I had to do. The relationship was obviously forced and it was awkward everytime we were together and it didn’t last long. However, it is important to find balance in all relationships because you don’t want someone that is identical to you. It might be cool at first because you get along so well but you need ideas from someone who thinks differently. If you want really good advice you need someone who isn’t going to tell you what you were already thinking. The key to a lot of things in life is finding different opinions, taking them all into consideration, and using the best part of each one. Finding a mentor who is exactly like you will defeat the purpose of a mentor.
    The last of the four things to look for in a mentor is my favorite one: trust. You do not want a mentor who thinks you are bothering them and just says what they need to get you away. This will likely lead to getting bad advice from someone who was just trying to get you off their back. A good mentor will always have your best interest in mind and will tell you what they honestly believe is best for you. But, as the article explains, trust goes both ways and you must prove that you respect your mentor. You cannot take their help for granted, it is important that you explain exactly what you need from them. They should not have to waste their time with someone who isn’t straightforward about what they want. If you can find a mentor with all the characteristics described in this article you should consider yourself lucky. This article provided unique ideas that no one has ever talked about, inside or outside the classroom. I am going to try to use this information to the best of my ability because you don’t get many chances at finding a mentor and I want to make the most of every opportunity I get.

  15. Mary Margaret Miller May 4, 2018 at 8:07 pm #

    As you start out in a new job or career, it is an upmost necessity to have a mentor guide you through how to begin your job or career within their company. Mentors are designed to help you thrive, however the long term effect a mentor has on you is to help prepare you to become a mentor as well for someone else. This everlasting cycle is the piece that keeps the company running by its original virtues, as well as evolving yet remaining current with the demands made by society.
    An important aspect to understand is that in order to grow within a company, you must be open to listening to different inputs and ideas of your coworkers. For a workplace to thrive, diversity is a key point that must be achieved. Receiving alternate perspectives from other individuals in the same work environment is what allows the company to test and create more ideas or policies that will enable their company to increase profits, or gain a greater consumer following. In another blog post I had done, the article discussed why the workplace should have a diverse age range of different individuals, and how much of a significant impact it had on companies overall. It proved that in order to gain a broader perspective of a market, it was best to have both younger and older individuals working side by side. This idea coincides with how we should choose our mentors. Mentors should be someone of higher authority than you, but age and like qualities should not be determining factors. As stated previously, a mentor is someone who is supposed to guide you. It is more than recommended that your mentor is not your equal, meaning you should not allow your best friend to become your mentor in a work setting. It is encouraged to find someone who is not your equal so that way you can grow into a mentor yourself. It’s the best possible way to become better at what you do for a living, and to learn the ropes and succeed.
    Mentors should always be someone who you feel comfortable with, and it is acceptable to request a new mentor if you feel like yours will not help you get to where you need to be. In a career setting, it is vital to make decisions such as this to better yourself. Not only will it help in the long run, but will also provide you with greater and better learning experiences. What can be taken from this is to be the mentor you want to be, and lead by example to others around you. Especially individuals who are still learning the ropes of the job position.

  16. Daniel Schreier May 4, 2018 at 8:29 pm #

    For any person, having someone to guide and assist them is a great asset both in the corporate and in the personal world. College students specially can benefit hugely from having a mentor, as someone who can assist them on career goals, in how to successfully go through college and why not, advice in life as well. Upon reading the Forbes article, I agree with some of the parameters the author used to give the readers advice on how to wisely choose a mentor. She mentioned 4 aspects: expertise, trust, compatibility and contrast as the ones who would determine the choice of mentor to someone. In my view, I consider trust to be the most important one, because one must deeply trust a mentor to seek advice from who truly will care and give the most accurate advice to the specific needs of that particular individual, and here is where compatibility comes in. You and your mentor should be in the same tune, especially in professional terms, where a bad advice can lead to a permanently disaster in one’s career. As such, is pivotal someone’s expertise in the field is solid and accountable for, since an unreliable advice is even worse than do not get any advice at all. Moreover, people should not look for someone whose personality is similar to himself. The reason for this is a mentor should give the best advice, which sometimes means doing a hard or painful thing. That can be especially tricky to do if the mentor and the person being mentored have similar personalities, as they cannot visualize the situation with another angle or point of view, which is why contrast is so important in this relationship.
    The Forbes article did not mention, but I believe there is another important aspect in this relation, which should be included as well, complicity. The reason being is because, both parties should deeply care about each other, both professionally and personally, as the conversations, decision and plans they create together may- and probably will- change the future of at least one of them, for good. This is such an important relationship, as such, there are probably many other aspects which should be considered, still, I believe I could mention and describe some important ones, as well and give my personal opinion of Forbes’ points.

  17. John Mundia May 4, 2018 at 8:41 pm #

    Mentors are the most important part for a young persons life. My mentor in high school and still now is my high schools track coach. Since the time I entered middle school, my coach has helped me in every way possible. Coach Gould fullfilled each of these roles very well. Whenever I would need something my coach was always ready and willing to help. He was the person that praised me after performing well. However, He was also my toughest critic. More often than not my coach would be criticizing my performance even if I did well. This criticism taught me how to do better and take criticism better. As I grew up under my coach I learnt how to become a better athlete, friend and brother. Mentors must have all these characteristics to motivate their mentorees to grow and become better.

  18. Daniel Colasanto May 4, 2018 at 8:51 pm #

    Many of the world’s most influential figures have had mentors who taught them everything they know. From great military generals to real estate developers to government officials, exceptional leaders learn from other successful people. I agree with the author of this article that finding someone who has expertise in an area you are interested in is a vital part of finding a effective mentor. In addition, I agree that trust is of utmost importance when choosing a mentor.
    Over the course of my life I’ve found that the most successful people are those who are great listeners and great communicators. People who can listen to an entire story and remember the whole thing the first time. Those who can experience something in an everyday situation and then paint an exciting and vivid picture of the moment. While I personally believe that some things in life can’t be taught, these qualities or attributes of someone’s character certainly can in my eyes. Which is why I believe that finding a mentor is a legitimate method of increasing a one’s success. Discovering a person with valuable and reliable advice, along with a successful track record and good reputation will not only propel someone or someone’s business to the next level but also improve a person’s mental state and standard of living. Knowledge is a beautiful thing and can be shared from one person to the next as long as you are willing to learn now.

  19. Sapna May 6, 2018 at 9:54 pm #

    I tend to work solo rather than collectively, so you can imagine my joy when I used to be forced to do collaborative work with other kids in my school. However, mentors are rather important, they support and help their student reach the goal they want. Mentors are great people to go to when you are unsure about something regarding academics, and they are there if you need additional help. A mentor should be someone you are compatible with, contrast with, is an expert in their field, and someone you can trust. It is really important to trust that the mentors are doing their best for you. They are here to make sure you move in the right direction, with right intention and the right way.
    For me having mentors has always been awkward, because I was never used to requesting help from people. If I did not know something, I would figure it out myself, but asking for help – that was the last thing I would do. So when I got my first mentor, it was least to say – strange, but later on it became easier, I could rely on him, and whenever things were difficult, it was easy to express where I was confused regarding my academics and such. I’ve had multiple tutors, but one mentor who I met in my junior year of high school. He was incredibly nice, and he helped me to even graduate a year early. I still keep in touch with him once in a while today and I am still able to ask him questions if I need to. I feel that mentors are not appreciated enough, just like teacher, and they are teachers in a way, because they guide us and help us navigate our way through this little phase called high school or college. Just as a doctor is held in high regards because he can save a life, a mentor is as important because he or she can get to the child and bring out what their ambitions are, what their desires and goals are. Mentors are more than mere helpers, they also become friends.

  20. Christopher Karant May 7, 2018 at 4:31 pm #

    Who you look up to says a lot about the type of person you are. Your role model is an important figure in your life and is a predictor as to who you will become. Coming from somebody who hasn’t had much direction in their life, a mentor is an essential part of your success and choosing your mentor should not come lightly. The article lists the four key elements of a good mentor as compatibility, contrast, expertise, and trust. I will address each of these. I can say from experience, a mentor is somebody who will lead your life in the right direction. A mentor can be the same age as you or older, my opinion is that somebody older will be able to lead you down a better path because they have been in your shoes and have learned from experience.
    Compatibility and trust are the two most important elements in your relationship with a mentor. Trust can be hard to build with someone, especially someone who is not completely involved in your life. To maximize your relationship with your mentor you must be able to tell them all the good and the bad in your life, no matter how embarrassing. A good mentor is not judgemental and will provide you with guidance no matter what the situation may be. They should also be willing to put you outside of your comfort zone. This is why contrast should be heavily considered when choosing a mentor. Contrast can mean someone who is different in terms of race or gender, but you should be looking for characteristics in that person that you, yourself want to attain. A mentor can be somebody younger than yourself but I would argue that they should be older. This is where expertise comes into play. Somebody who has walked in your shoes and came out on the other side knows more about you than you think. This expertise can help you combat problems early on and deal with further issues that may arise.

  21. ConradK May 18, 2018 at 10:57 pm #

    The article on things to look for in a mentor is a very important article. I would say that mentorship is crucial to success in almost any endeavor one can partake in.

    The one trait that I would say is extremely important when choosing a mentor is trust. Very recently I’ve been thinking about how important it is for there to be trust in any successful relationship. Whether it is a relationship between an employee and their employer or citizens and their elected officials. This is no different when it comes to mentorship and this article describes that trait and its relevance to a successful partnership well.

    Another great trait is Contrast. It does not make sense to have someone who thinks like you, or is like you in many other ways to be a mentor to you. Mentors should serve to stretch you and assist you bringing out characteristics that you may not have known were there. Having a mentor who you may already know sees things a bit different than you is a good way to get a the perspective that is needed to help you grow. So often I have heard that it is in the uncomfortable place that allows you to grow. This is the reason I agree that having someone who is different than you but also is willing to help you get to the next place in life is truly a trait to look for when choosing a mentor.

  22. CA May 21, 2018 at 5:25 pm #

    This article is very informative. I would think the things mentioned as sure signs of identifying a good mentor are very good points. It is true that one has to be able to communicate effectively with their mentors. Be it a job mentor school mentor or just personal life mentor. These people will have a responsible role to play in your life and it is necessary that you pick a good one. The article points to selecting a mentor who is compatible meaning they should be someone you can easily agree on issues with. This person should also contrast certain aspects of your characteristic or personality in a positive way. At the same time the mentor should also be trustworthy and have expertise that is above yours so that you can actually learn from them. All these qualities are not very easy to associate one person with but is certainly very important to look for in a mentor. With the above qualities it appears mentors would normally be older or just about the same age as the mentee to incorporate the trust and especially the expertise required from such a person. Since normally experience comes with age. The saying “older and wise” comes to mind. However it is true that a mentor does not have to be of the same gender as you. There is also a point in having a younger mentor which mostly works for personal life situations like your fashion mentor who can certainly mentor you on current fashion trends that millennials are very familiar with. So with that said, all generations could be mentors depending on what you need a mentor for. One other important point made in the article is finding a mentor who would challenge you and give you unbiased opinions. That can be challenging since people normally cannot take constructive criticisms if it is contrary to what they want to hear and could strain a relationship. This however is why you have to pick one whose expertise are beyond yours. They will be good communicators who knows how to deliver, be it criticism that maybe hard to accept in a way that you would be comfortable with or just advise that contradicts what your goals are. Mentors are important and should definitely be one that the mentor and mentee can accommodate.

Leave a Reply