Whether it’s for personal goals or career growth, finding the right mentor can play a major role in getting where you want to be. In honor of January being National Mentoring Month, hear from Christina Noble and Nicole Matt as they share tips for finding a mentor.

Christina Noble, Chief Growth Officer, Sonora Quest Laboratories/Laboratory Sciences of Arizona

Question: What qualities should you look for most in a mentor?

Answer: This depends somewhat on how to envision the relationship working best for you.  However, I think some basic qualities to seek include: genuine interest and passion for developing and supporting people in career growth/expansion, ability to hold confidences, open-mindedness, good listening skills and positive energy and a willingness to be frank and bold with you in providing guidance and perspective.

Question: Do you think the best mentorships begin organically or through a structured program?

Answer: I think that the most effective mentorships can develop either organically or through a structured program.  I’ve seen both work great!  If you have access to a structured or formalized program through your workplace, affinity or associations or academia, I recommend that as a great starting point. In those scenarios, typically you are connected formally to mentor which can foster clearer expectations up-front.  And, if you prefer more structure, that may be the best fit for you.  However, several of my most favorite and memorable informal mentors were with individuals that I was connected to haphazardly, through working on a panel together, collaborating on cross-team or community workgroups or just meeting at networking events around topics of interest.  In those scenarios, there is a built-in connection and trust that can provide a solid foundation for future work together as mentor/mentee.

Question: How often should I meet with my mentor and what do I need to do to prepare for the meetings?

Answer: You and your mentor should discuss together and agree on what is reasonable given your goals. One point to consider is the value of quality vs. quantity.  Maybe you meet with a mentor twice a year, but those two meetings are pivotal for you as the quality and content of your time spent is rich with information and helpful considerations/coaching.  I recommend keeping an open mind on how the timing works.

As far as preparation, for the first meeting consider preparing clear goals that you have in mind for the mentoring relationship (example, gain perspective on public speaking or how to pivot from individual contributor to leader or transition from one industry to another) and what expectations you have for yourself and be ready to hear what expectations your mentor has of you.  In addition, it may be helpful to bring anything you think could assist your mentor in learning more about your capabilities and areas of opportunity – for example a Korn Ferry 360 or recent video of your public speaking.   A resume or bio could be helpful as well.  However, I think the most important preparation is to be ready to be vulnerable and open to the relationship and what you may learn.  Have fun with it!

Question: How should I find the right mentor?

Answer: First of all, be bold and feel confident just asking an individual directly.  People do that all the time and you should feel comfortable doing that do.  It doesn’t need to be overly formal. I once had someone say to me after a panel discussion, “can I connect with you quarterly to touch base on career and the market?”.  That is a good example of informal mentorship than can work will and produce good results.

Community Development/Volunteerism – maybe your company or organization does work to benefit the many phenomenal 501c3s in Arizona.  If so, there are probably several individuals that you may find that you work with to do good in our communities that is a common value you share.

LinkedIn has a program you can sign up for to either be mentored or be a mentor.  It is open to all LinkedIn members so if you are flexible in terms of meeting virtually or in person (beyond our current circumstances), that may be a place to consider

During annual succession planning at your place of work, let your leader know you are looking for a mentor so that can be shared with the broader group.  There may be individuals that are looking to be mentors that you may not be aware of or know.

Your faith community.

Your alma mater – Most colleges and universities have excellent alumnae relationship groups.  Get re-connected and ask about potential mentors that are in AZ or out of state as well.

Nicole Matt, Marketing and Communications Senior Director, OH Partners

Question: What qualities make a successful mentorship relationship work best?

Answer: I believe sincere honesty is one of the most important qualities when it comes to mentorship relationships. As a mentor, you want to share the real work-world ups and down, tough conversations, how to navigate challenges, or celebrate the wins. 

Question: Do you think the best mentorships begin organically or through a structured program?

Answer: Networking and building relationships typically guarantees the dynamic is a good fit, however mentors don’t always have adequate time to dedicate. A structured program ensures the milestones are being met within timelines to be most effective for both.

Question: How should I find the right mentor?

Answer: In our virtual world, you have to find new avenues to connect instead of traditional networking. Social media is a good place to start and don’t be afraid to ask co-workers, friends or clients to recommend someone for you.

Question: What qualities should you look for most in a mentor?

Answer: I tend to look for experience, not just climbing the corporate ladder but actual failures and grueling successes. I personally value guidance from those who have weathered a storm or two and lived by their convictions no matter what.  займ на карту займ без отказа москватурбо займ онлайн на картузайм военным pps займзайм на карту за 1 минутусрочный займ на карту без отказа онлайн где взять займ 100 процентовзайм на 6 месяцев на картузайм на электронные кошельки

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