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How Do You Choose A Mentor?

Choosing a mentor is a process of elimination and understanding of both your needs, and your mentors abilities. There a number of considerations that you need to think about before embarking on the process, but it is very rewarding relationship when conducted in the right spirit.

The fastest way to success, whether personally or in business, is to understand the lessons that others have already taken on board. The quickest route to this sort of information is often through the use of a mentor, someone who has already been where you want to be, and who is willing (and able) to help you develop the insight, skills and experience that you need.  But how do you choose that rarest of people?

There are a number of considerations that you need to think about before you take the opportunities that abound when you work with a mentor and these are not only practical questions, but also deeper concerns about your own needs and expectations too.

Mentors come in many shapes and forms, you may not even recognise them as such at the time you are ‘working’ with them; it may only be later that you realise that someone has helped you to realise a goal, dream or ambition. One of the first things you need to consider is why you want a mentor, is it to help you develop as an individual or to help you develop a business or career? The right mentor for one thing, probably wouldn’t be right in all contexts.

You may need some help developing a business idea or understanding next steps on your career path, perhaps you want to write or publish a book, need help understanding aspects of your market or just business in general? Once again, a mentor in your industry may be preferable in some circumstances but not necessarily in others.

Do you think you are ready for a mentoring relationship? Being mentored is a challenging process for both parties involved. You may be introduced to radically different cultures, values, objectives, beliefs and ways of being or doing things. You will need to be open to change, in all it’s forms. Someone who is closed will not gain anything from the mentoring process, except perhaps several headaches. Being honest about your need and your willingness to embrace new ideas is absolutely key to the success of the relationship.

The successful mentor/mentee relationship is a two way process, each learns from the other in roughly equal amounts. What they learn will be different, but the value that is gained by both parties cannot be underestimated.

I’ve been mentoring and coaching people for over ten years, as a health coach through my social enterprise, the Hysterectomy Association; as a social media coach in my business, Internet Mentor Limited, and more recently with women taking their first plunge into the world of self-publishing. If you’d like to have a chat about how I might be able to help you realise your dream get in touch through the contact page and ask me your burning question.

Linda Parkinson-Hardman

Social Entrepreneur and Founder of the Hysterectomy Association; Social Media Strategist at Internet Mentor; Speaker; Writer and Author of Eight Books; Blogger at http://womanontheedgeofreality.com and all round diva. Phew what a lot for a Thursday afternoon :-)

You can find out more about me (and perhaps connect) at http://www.linkedin.com/in/lindaph

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