How did you get to know your mentor

How I found my mentors

A mentoring program that I am a member of isMentorMe. It is for women who want to successfully get into the job and want to move up. To register, you fill out a psychological test and describe what you want to achieve through mentoring. My mentor's personality is very similar to me - so that must have worked out well.

The network is a great added value in this mentoring program. In a private Facebook group, new jobs are constantly posted and participants in the program are preferred. There are also events, networking evenings and visits to companies several times a month.

I just met another mentor at an event. I asked him for advice and thanked him for it the following day. In the e-mail I summarized the points he had advised and asked whether I understood them correctly. He later told me that it made a very positive impression on him. We have met every few months since then and he has helped me through a number of crises.

I never asked him if he would like to be my mentor. It just happened. Just like in a friendship, you don't ask whether you should be friends. It comes from doing things that best friends do. In the same way, a mentor-mentee relationship is created by behaving like this: asking for advice, implementing it, thanking you for the results and asking for advice again.

A very unusual way to find mentors

Do a podcast! Yes, interview exciting people in a podcast on iTunes and Spotify. It is a bit of work but it pays off because it allows you to prove (to future employers) that you have a network.

Interested? Then listen to theYoung entrepreneur podcast by Fabian Tausch, if you are interested in starting a business.

And listen to mine Team talent podcast if you are interested in the topics of leadership, new work and digitization.

By now I would say: a podcast is the best way to find mentors quickly. After all, you can question them and you have a reason to do so.

Why mentors are important

Learn faster with mentors

"You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t possibly live long enough to make them all yourself "- Sam Levenson, American TV Personality

Almost all the mistakes we make have been made by someone before us. It's a shame we don't all have mentors. The world would look very different if we all had someone to whom we could confide in times of crisis, uncertainty and before new projects. A mentor who has already made all the mistakes so we don't have to make them. Mentors not only make life easier, they can make it worth living.

You probably know the famous midlife crisis. It's like waking up from a dream and realizing that you've wasted a lot of your prime without realizing it. Mentors are not only useful for your career, but also for a fulfilling life. Instead of making all the mistakes yourself, you can benefit from the knowledge and experience of others. That saves a lot of time, money and nerves. Well, you could say that there are plenty of books, online courses, and blog articles out there, but it's not the same.

3 examples of successful people with mentors

Anyone could be a mentor

"If I hadn’t had mentors, I wouldn’t be here today. I'm a product of great mentoring, great coaching ... Coaches or mentors are very important. They could be anyone - your husband, other family members, or your boss. "Indra Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo

  • Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook, and Larry Page, Co-Founder of Google, both mentored Steve Jobs. Jobs himself had several mentors, including Key Bushnell and Robert Friedland.
  • Richard Branson thanks his mentor Sir Freddie Laker for the success of Virgin Airlines
  • Bill Gates receives advice and mentoring from Warren Buffet

What exactly is mentoring? - The mentor definition

The definition of a mentor in this article is an experienced supporter who helps you with his expertise and is available for questions and problems. Coaching can also be a type of mentoring.

A mentor sees your talent

"A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you."Bob Proctor

You can recognize a mentor by the following signs:

  • A Mentor gives you specific advice in his expert area. You can ask your mentor for an opinion and ideas.
  • A mentor sees your potential, as well as your weaknesses and strengths. Through him you can see what kind of person you are.
  • A mentor can give you Career opportunities open up and introduce you to other people.

No mentor without a mentee - what kind of mentee are you?

The following 3 categories are inspired byMatthew Hussey, Coach, trainer and online entrepreneur. Think about which description suits you best. Be honest! Because only then can you do something about it. How, we'll get to that in the course of the blog article.

"Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance."Confucius

The lowest level are the people who really can't manage anything on their own. So if you're reading this article, you're probably not one of them. Not only do they need mentors, they actually want someone to live their lives for them. Dependent mentees are not characterized by the fact that they have no skills, but that they prefer to let others do the work.

This mentee would ask the mentor to do the research for him, to formulate the cover letter or to take over other small things, with the reasonIcan theNot. The victim role is pretty comfortable. If you pretend to be helpless, sometimes others will do it for you. Probably this type of person would not consciously seek a mentor because that would be far too big a task.

To some people, mentors seem dangerous to the ego. They are the perfect base material for an elbow society. In the world of ignoramuses, they climb the career ladder all alone and alone. What, find a mentor? Advices? Help? - Only idiots need that.Just like reading books or articles on helpful topics -tzz.

Many of them just don't want to admit that they don't know everything themselves. Some ignorant mentees believe that no one would help them without bad intentions. Again, others think that they are already too good for a mentor or that there is no one who can help them with their problem. Where does this attitude come from and how can it be changed? We'll go back to that towards the end of the articleFixed mindsetand how you are guaranteed to be a successful mentee.

The successful mentees

In the end, the most successful mentees are those who know they can do it on their own. It would just take them a lot more time, money, and frustration to make all the mistakes themselves. The ego is not in your way. No, just the opposite. They identify themselves as very inquisitive, ambitious and interested mentees. You see the wisdom in many different mentors.

You are actively looking for ways to find multiple mentors. They admit their mistakes. Successful mentees recognize potential problems early and therefore have a better life, because huge crises and dramas rarely occur. Why? Instead of turning a blind eye, they specifically ask mentors for advice. This opens up many career opportunities, great relationships and great successes for them.

3 reasons why successful people should be your mentor

The best suggestions for these articles usually come from my coaching clients, I affectionately call them heroes. One of my heroes once described his attitude towards mentors to me: Bymy company I had the opportunity to be at a great dinner. Next to me sat the CEO of one of the tallestCompanies in Germany.man, I was excited! But I didn't talk to him. I'm not a successful millionaire. What do I have to do with him?Offer?

As a mentee, you don't have to compare yourself to the mentor. It is true that people generally surround themselves with others who are like them. However, this is not the case with mentoring. Let's consider what the motivation for a mentor is to support you as a mentee.

The mentor enjoys mentoring

On the one hand, there is the intrinsic motivation as a mentor to help someone. It's not exactly about getting something out of the relationship. When someone tends a garden, reaping the fruits is secondary to most. The primary motivation is to see the plants grow and the work pay off. Since I've had palm trees in my apartment, I've finally understood. Mentors want you to be successful because that is something they can be proud of.

The mentor is confirmed by the mentoring

The best way to really learn something is to teach someone how to do it. In the discussions, the mentor can reflect on his own behavior. The last thing we shouldn't forget is the mentor's ego. Many people who have really achieved something in life love to talk about it. When you show appreciation and listen carefully, it acts like a caress for your mentor's ego.

The mentor wants to pass something on

Many successful people have had mentors themselves who made their success possible. Now they want to pass something on. This motivation can be used very specifically to win someone over as a mentor. That would go beyond the scope of the blog article.

3 common prejudices that make mentoring impossible

1. The Myth of the One Mentor - One mentor is not enough

There is the romantic notion of having a mentor. The one mentor who can help you in all areas of life. The one mentor who goes through thick and thin with you. The one mentor who is the all-inclusive package for the perfect career and the perfect life. That puts a lot of pressure on your mentor. Because suddenly this one person has to be there for everything. Accordingly, this also means a high investment of time. Something that cannot be asked of many successful people.

So that means you need a whole bunch of mentors. I call it a board of mentors. Why is that important? The following analogy presents the tabletop as your success and the table leg as your mentor. Imagine you have a table with only one leg. In any case, it will be very shaky. It may even break away because the load is too heavy.

When you have a multitude of mentors, it's like having multiple table legs to rely on. Then you each have a mentor for a specific area. I currently have 7 mentors, all of whom I can ask for advice in different situations. For example, someone who helps me advance as a coach in coaching. Then a personal trainer who advises me on health issues free of charge. Then another entrepreneur who reflects on the never-ending self-critical thoughts with me.

As a result, each mentor has a function in his or her special area, his or her expertise. This means you don't have to take too much time from someone and you also get better advice. Elon Musk would be a dream mentor if you want to start a business. ButRelationship advice from Elon would probably not be helpful ...

2. Your Similar Mentor Myth - Mentors won't be you in 20 years

I talked to a biotechnologist about mentoring at an event. I had given a workshop and she told me that she would like to use all of these techniques, but there are simply no mentors in her field. So I asked her what she was looking for anyway. What followed was a long list of very specific details.

Myideal mentor should be female, between 35 and 45 years of age. She should live in Berlin and have at least 10 successful publications in her specific niche. It was her tooimportant thatthey have a leadership position in a large company and a happy familyHas.

To put it briefly: she should be the mentor in 20 years. I asked her -Howit is likely that you are such a personfind?She thought about it, frowned, and said -itis almost impossible, that's why I come toto you.

You can't choose a mentor like a jam. One of my best, and favorite, in mentors, is pretty much the opposite of me. He is 54, originally born in Africa but raised in the UK. As a self-employed copywriter, he is quite introverted and has no children. Had I stuck to this idea, I would never have considered him as a mentor.

Janet Mock even says that a mentor doesn't necessarily have to be the person you'd like to go out for a cocktail or coffee with. The main thing is that someone is there for you when you have a problem or a question. Do you feel like you just can't find your perfect mentor? Then it could be because your ideas are a bit too narrow.

Open up to new opportunities. Instead of picking your mentor based on a specific career path, specific age, and other irrelevant details, be open to all options. In the end, the only thing that matters is that this person really has expertise in an area you want to get better at .

3. Your myth of the famous mentor - your mentor doesn't have to be a high-flyer

Of course, it's nonsense to write to Bill Gates as a student and try to get him as a mentor.Tim Ferris, Author of the New York Times bestseller4 Hour Work Week, advises not to ask the mentors who are in the limelight and have all the attention. Instead of writing to this year's gold medal winner, you could write to the bronze winner from three years ago. Still, we mostly underestimate who we can address.

CoachMatthew Hussey even advises consciously to choose mentors who are just 2-3 steps further. If we are afraid of becoming self-employed, a multiple entrepreneur is of no help. The mentor can hardly identify with the problem because it was too long ago. If you have a mentor who was in a similar situation a few years ago, they will be able to remember the details and their own approach even more, and they will have more understanding of your situation.

3 questions to find the right mentor

Where could a mentor help you?

Now that we've made it clear that you need several mentors and that they will help you in specific areas of your life, let's get down to business.

Imagine if you could design your life like you had reality Photoshop. Retouch the lack of time, darken the unsightly conversations or increase the salary. How would you like to change your life?

Imagine your life would change for the better overnight. Which problems would be solved? What areas of your life would be better?

What expertise does the mentor need?

If you answer these questions honestly and hopefully have a number of areas of potential: What does a mentor need to be able to or know to help you with this? Often it does not have to be restricted to an industry or a specific occupation, even if this can be helpful.

Where do you find this type of mentor?

At which conferences do people hang out with this expertise? How could you research them on LinkedIn? Who do you already know who could introduce you to someone? Take a look at mine Networks Items.

How to get rid of a potential mentor

In the bookLean in describesSheryl Sandbergthat women in particular often ask her if she could become their mentor. She compares it to the questionDo you want to be my mother It's as clever as asking a stranger the first time you meet -can i have a job? But what makes this approach so wrong?

  • On the one hand, it ensures that we like Supplicant Act.
  • Plus, it doesn't really show much social competencebecause that question is based on taking before we give. Of course, this does not apply if we have known a person for a long time.
  • It is also one uncomfortable situation for the mentor. If the mentor says no, you will get a direct rejection and the mentor may feel bad. If the mentor says yes, it could be because he just feels obliged and it doesn't come from intrinsic motivation.

Building a mentoring relationship - the role of a good mentee

Think back to the best friends you have had or currently have in your life. How many of them did you ask directly - Do you wanna be my best friend I guess in most cases you didn't do this. At some point you both realized that you were best friends. Where does it come from? By behavior. At first you acted like best friends by spending a lot of time together and confiding in each other. Because of the behavior came the role of best friend.

Likewise, a mentor is not a person to begin with. People are not born as mentors, nor do they come into your life as mentors. It's a role we're growing into. This also means that we must first ensure that our mentor of choice behaves like a mentor. And to do that, we have to act like a mentee.

Some expect the bone to come to the dog. In some cases, getting an appointment with a successful person can really be work. I had to ask some of my mentors up to five times before a meeting worked out. In the end, it turned out that it wasn't because of our relationship. The mentors just had too much on their minds. If I hadn't followed up again and again, the relationship would never have come about.

As a mentee, you have to take all responsibility for building and maintaining the relationship. It is nice if your mentor contacts you of his own accord, but we shouldn't expect this at the beginning of the mentoring. So keep your promises, give a variety of possible times and places, and make it as easy as possible for your (future) mentor.

Be curious as a mentee

Good mentees ask their mentors interesting questions - a topic I cover in the ultimate small talk guide. You don't have to shine with answers or great ideas, you can impress with good questions. To do this, it is important to prepare for the interview. Think of a specific situation or question in your life that fits the mentor's expertise. Listening carefully afterwards is just as important. Don't be afraid to take notes. As Dale Carnegie said in his classic, people love it when someone finally really listens to him. Attention is one of the most valuable goods in the world.

Are you interested or interested?

"You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you." - Dale Carnegie, Author of How to Win Friends and Influence People

Be appreciative as a mentee

Being appreciative relates to the information you get on the one hand, to the time of your mentor on the other, and to the mentor himself on the other. When you have an aha moment, share it with your mentor. As a coach, I know all too well how motivating it is to see when people have a breakthrough.

In addition, it is an absolute priority that you value your mentor's time. This means not only being on time, but showing respect for your mentor's investment in your emails and phone calls. Keep it short and make it as easy as possible for your mentor to understand your concern. Lastly, you also want to show appreciation for the good nature and intelligence of your mentor. We all like compliments, even if we don't always admit it.

"I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead." - Mark Twain

The most common mistake when getting to know a mentor

A true example. I was once at an event where the director of Wirtschaftswoche gave an interview. I can still remember that evening very well: after I sit down, I quickly start a conversation with the other women at the table. Next to me is a slightly older lady with a very nice smile. She explains to me that she has had a company in the media industry for eight years. But then the lecture begins, unfortunately, and I can't talk to her much anymore.

During the performance I notice a wedding ring on her finger and very nice glasses from Prada.Hm, I think to myself,she will probably have a family and be really successful, that's exactly the kind of mentor I'm looking for right now. My ADHD brain thinks about all possible scenarios in the course of the lecture.What if she can give me advice on how to find a publisher for a book.

Towards the end of the lecture I see that she takes out her business cards. Maybe she wants mea give. But after clapping, she gets up quickly, says goodbye in a friendly manner and rushes to the speaker in front. I give her a handshake and have a good evening.

Suddenly I stand there like a doused poodle and curse inside. In any other case, I would have asked the person for their card or would have come along. But as soon as I spoke to such an impressive person, I wanted to do everything just not to seem too interested. It's just like the irony of dating. As soon as you find someone attractive, you behave completely differently.

The self-test - do you even have a mentor?

In order to learn anything at all through mentoring, both the mentor and the mentee must have a healthy attitude towards learning and mistakesGeoff Colvin counts in his bookTalent is overrated, a variety of studies. Regular, clear feedback is a basic building block for building really good skills.

On the other hand, New York Times describes bestselling author,Michael Port, in his podcastSteal the showhow many people who want feedback don't look for constructive criticism. Instead, they just want to get praise for what is already good. However, very few are aware that they do not want any criticism at all. Seeking a mentor also means expecting and soliciting honest criticism. For that we have to be ready to put up with a lot.

To test yourself, answer the following statements on a scale from 1 to 6.
1 (strongly against) - 6 (strongly in favor)

  • You are born with a certain amount of intelligence and there is not much you can do about it.
  • Your intelligence is something about you that you cannot change.

Fixed Mindset - The mentor runs against a wall

If you gave 4-6 points on one or both sentences, then you did out loud Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford UniversityFixed mindset.

You may have been called "smart girl" or "smart boy" as a child and praised for your instant performance. Fixed minds are more concerned with proving that they can do something. Their primary focus is getting credit for what comes easily to them. You set goals that are specifically designed to prove your intelligence and avoid goals that are too challenging.

Every time you try to break a bad habit but fail to do it, you are strengthening that attitude. A friend of mine once said to me: I'm 36 now, I would like to change, but I can't do it anymore. I am who I am and will probably stay that way - unfortunately. Understandably, any criticism is then an attack on the ego, because we are mentally unable to change this. Of course, you don't have to have such an extreme form of fixed mind, it can be a tendency. According to the CEO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, women in particular often have this attitude and therefore do not dare to take on new projects without already having the necessary skills, which often holds them back.

Growth Mindset - The mentoring is successful

If you have 1-3 points in both sentences then you have a growth mindset.If you are reading this article, it is likely that you belong to this group.

You believe that with enough time and practice, a variety of skills can be learned. Depending on how strongly you are convinced that you can change your behavior, you will be better able to accept criticism.

You can strengthen this very helpful mindset by practicing changing your behavior. In this way you show yourself that you can change and are not a victim of your habits. This way you will also react better to the feedback from your mentor and get more benefit from the mentoring.


"Always seek negative feedback, even though it can be mentally painful. Don’t tell me what you like, tell me what you don’t like. ”- Elon Musk

Whether you can get rid of negative habits and beliefs also depends on whether you have the right techniques to do so. I use change management principles applied to the individual to make it easy to change behavior. If you want to start exercising regularly, live a healthier life or want to stop with annoying habits, then write to me for a no-obligation meeting. I am happy to support you.

Masterminds: How to Get Multiple Mentors Instantly

I call masterminds a type of peer-to-peer mentoring. You bring together 3-7 acquaintances who probably get along well. Everyone receives 10 minutes of mentoring from the group. As a participant, you would prepare a question that you would ask the group within your 10 minutes. For example, you could ...

  • Present an idea and get opinions:I want to build a company that does XY. How do you like that?
  • Ask the others in the group about their experiences and tips on a particular topic: I've been putting off some things for months, what are you doing to overcome procrastination?
  • Ask for contacts or knowledge:I am looking for a location for an event. Does anyone know where I could do this?

Depending on where the focus is, it can be business or personal. The best part is that it is incredibly productively spent time. Since everyone shares and gives something of themselves, everyone benefits and gets to know each other at the same time.

Most of the time there is always one or more people who have a solution to a question or problem. Because imagine how much experience and how much knowledge come together when seven clever people are sitting at one table.

I held my very first mastermind about three years ago, back then with just three people. In my best year, I hosted over 66 masterminds. Sometimes it was even three a week. You really don't need to do it that extensively to enjoy all the benefits. I am happy to help you easily organize your own masterminds. Just write me.

The greatest advantages of being a mastermind

  • You will get helpful answers to any challenge or question you have. In addition, these conversations are often very interesting. As everyone suddenly talks about their challenges, exciting and impressive moments arise.
  • You strengthen your relationship with up to seven people at a time. It's one of the best ways to network and keep in touch with people. You can also get to know new people in a very simple and authentic way.
  • You build up social capital. By hosting these meetings, you are automatically bringing value to the people who know you. It's not a lot of work if you do it right.

At the beginning of this chapter, we discussed the possible motivations for a mentor. The mentor himself learns an incredible amount by reflecting on the problems of others. I like to compare that to a jam jar. When you're in the glass, you can't see what's on the outside. But with others, it's so easy to solve problems.

And I can tell you one thing right now: even if you don't have the feeling that you can't give a lot to someone as a mentor, you have something to give. You have already had experiences that are unique; these experiences have given you wisdom in certain situations that someone who is a lot younger may not yet have. Again, you don't have to ask your mentee if he would like you as a mentor. Just be there for the person, ask about problems, give advice and support and you will grow into the role of mentor.

Top 3 ideas for mentoring

  • A mentor is not a person, but a role that the person takes on. Someone becomes your mentor by acting like one, you don't have to ask anyone if they want to be their mentor. Likewise, you wouldn't ask anyone if they wanted to be your best friend if you barely knew each other.
  • Clarify what expertise your mentor needs to have and look for someone who can help you in this one area. Don't expect all solutions and tips from one person.
  • You are not a supplicant. Show appreciation, respect, and interest, but don't compare yourself to your mentor. You don't have to be super successful to get a mentor's help. What matters is that you build the relationship with your mentor consciously and correctly.