The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines a mentor as “a trusted counselor or guide.” As you walk along your path through life, you need to be surrounded by others who want to help you work toward and accomplish your goals. Simply put, you need at least one mentor.

Everyone has gifts and talents to share! A great mentor is a guide who helps others to navigate the world of school, careers and even life in general. Let’s take a look at the kinds of mentors you need to support and provide guidance for you.

  1. A mentor who Challenges
    You need some challengers in your life, if you desire to grow. Someone who will tell you when they think you’re doing something wrong or if you need to spend more time thinking something through. They ask the tough questions that help you analyze your situation realistically. These questions are meant to help you think outside the box. They don’t sugarcoat and they’ll honestly tell you if your idea is a bad one or if your plan is only half thought out. This criticism, if it comes from the right place, will help you get on the right path and avoid costly mistakes
  2. A mentor who acts as a Cheerleader
    Having the positive support of a Cheerleader can give you the necessary motivation to keep going. Your parents, good friends or trusted older persons around you can fill this role in many ways; and academically, it may be one of your teachers who believes you can do anything you put your mind to. Having a person who can always tell you, “You can do this” can be a tremendous asset. A Cheerleader is someone who will be genuinely happy for you when you succeed and who will cheer you on when you might be struggling.
  3. A mentor who serves as a Coach
    Coaches are there when you need someone to help you think through difficult problems. Note that a good coach doesn’t solve your problems for you; rather, they help you see both the problem and your role a bit more clearly. They do this by observing, listening, asking focused questions, helping you to reflect backwards, and challenging to move forward. Coaches can suggest strategies for solving problems you might not have considered, and can help you think “bigger picture” on ideas and possible solutions.
  4. A mentor who Connects
    The Connector gets satisfaction from making connections. They are willing to open up their personal or professional network to others. They are motivated by connecting people with one another to share ideas, passion and energy. This type of mentor is a valuable asset to both your personal and professional life. Sometimes it really is who you know that can make the difference! Don’t play down on the power of your network.
  5. A mentor who Educates
    An Educator is a person who takes the time to sit down and share their expertise with those who want to learn, someone who is knowledgeable, compassionate, and possesses the attributes of a good teacher or trainer. Educators love to help others by sharing their wisdom. They empower the mentee to develop their own strengths, beliefs, and personal attributes. Their goal is to see everyone succeed!

A truly great mentor often embodies more than one of these personality profiles. Look for mentors who give you a push, teach you, and inspire you. Making these connections and having these relationships available to you means that you can pull from these resources whenever you might have the need. Mentoring can be a very rewarding experience for all involved!

Adapted from