There’s nothing quite like a mentor. She understands you in ways that no one else seems to, she listens intently to your rants, she asks just the right questions, and gives the perfect advice. I must say my conversations with my mentors are some of my most fulfilling and important.
Take note that I said mentors – plural. Yes, I have more than one. I even have more than two. I’ve been very blessed to work with some amazing people over the years, and I’ve made it a priority to keep in touch with them. I’m not saying I chat with them every month, or even every three months. I connect with them when it feels right, and I love having it in the back of my mind that they are there for me.
While having a mentor is important for many reasons in helping with personal and professional development, having more than one is even better. Here’s a few reasons you should strive to have more than one mentor in your life.
- Unique personalities. Depending on the issue, sometimes you want a soft approach, and sometimes you want told be told the hard truth. You’ll know it in your gut what type of advice you want. It’s wonderful to have different mentors with different approaches to go to depending on the issue. And sometimes it’s helped me even to imagine what hard truth mentor would tell me in the situation. Since she has a black and white approach, I can usually guess. And that’s helped give me insight to situations.
- Varying viewpoints. I look to my mentors to provide insight and advice on topics that they can relate to, but everyone has a different journey to where they are now. Having multiple mentors means my issues can be looked upon from various points of view. And that’s so helpful when you want different perspectives on an issue.
- Different advice. Sometimes, when you chat with your mentor, you have a gut instinct of what you think or what you want to do. The truth of the matter is that sometimes you’re not looking to be told what to do, you’re looking for someone you respect to listen to you and pull out what they hear. One of the wonderful things about having multiple mentors is that if one tells you something you don’t feel good about, you can always go to the other one. It takes your mentor off the pedestal and makes her feel real. Because mentors aren’t perfect, either!
Don’t be afraid to engage someone as a mentor. In general, people love giving advice! As long as you respect someone’s opinion and experience, ask them to chat through problems with you. Trust me when I say it will make a world of difference in how you think through your problems. After a while you will be able to look upon things with different perspectives. And that’s the best way to solve any problem.