{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "What qualities do you look for in a mentor, or if you already have a successful mentor/mentee relationship what makes them a good mentor for yourself? That is, if you had the option of choosing one. Same gender, ethnic bg, professional bg?", "post_id": "5fc6540cc69153002868ddc8", "reply_count": 7, "vote_count": 2, "bowl_id": "59e88be7e2808e00149b0443", "bowl_name": "Women In Consulting" }

What qualities do you look for in a mentor, or if you already have a successful mentor/mentee relationship what makes them a good mentor for yourself? That is, if you had the option of choosing one. Same gender, ethnic bg, professional bg?

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I literally could not care less about gender nor ethnicity. I look for their degree of success - but most importantly respectable character and humility which sadly doesn’t come by that often.

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I usually look for their journey as a professional, and how they overcame their challenges as a starting point. Then, its really a personality match and more importantly if the mentor is willing to invest their time and energy in mentoring me. For example, one of my mentors was a mid level male white man, but his journey was remarkable and he was willing to spend time to talk to me. I could relate to his workplace challenges even though we are poles apart in ethnicity, gender etc. And the way he approached the challenges (with optimism and logical debate) was exactly how i like to approach difficult situations. Again, this is just my experience so take it with a grain of salt please! Not an expert in people and relationship management. Usually take a lot of time to develop strong relations...

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OP: I worked under him in my past organization and when had an option to select a mentor (part of the org culture), I choose him over other senior people. My manager also supported my decision. We had a whole template and meeting protocol in our previous organization under mentorship program. It was very valuable for me at that stage of my career because I needed time and genuine interest of my mentor in helping me find my own solutions rather than just a mentor who will try and speak for me at promotion meetings. We used to catch up every 2 weeks, but I could always reach out to him incase I needed guidance. I also wanted to say that I have also evolved as a professional now, and look for mentors who can help me with my present needs, so it a constant journey tbh. My current mentor is helping me with executive presence and how to speak up in a room where am the only woman (also who is soft spoken and generally introvert). So needs change! My suggestion would be to have an open mind and have a good conversation before you decide. Its truly about connecting and having that genuine spark to better yourself. Good luck!

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I’d say it’s less about their background and more about if they’re willing to commit to being your mentor. From there, you’d want to understand if they’re a good listener, have a strong network, interesting experience, etc., that can be leveraged to take your career to the next level. I was once paired with a “top performer” at my firm to be my mentor. She either had too many advisees or not enough interest because she did not support my goals, invest time in our meetings, or listen to me. I had to get a new advisor.

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Thanks all. Interesting to see background matters less for most folks when it comes to picking mentors. I have the option of being paired up with another woman engineer and was curious to get people's thoughts. Can you ladies elaborate a bit more on how you maintain good relationships with your mentors or mentees and what type of things you discuss/get advice for? I don't think I've had a real mentor before.

Go with who you admire or want to be like the most. Also don’t limit yourself to just one mentor. Different perspectives are valuable and some are stronger in one area vs the other; Eg I go to different people for different reasons.

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