It took me a year, but a few weeks ago, I reached my goal for writing on Medium. After posting a title I knew would immediately turn some people off, I received the following message:

“Damn it, you did it again: A productivity based article that doesn’t repeat the same points as every other trending one, but introduces some new and really good ideas.”

This comment came a week after this one:

“At this clickbait-y title, which I might have seen already, I thought `Ughhhh, not again’….But after seeing your name, I knew there would be a new and surprising twist.”

Both of these messages are from Ruben Mons. I am happily married and the proud dad of two babies with baby model looks, but I find myself strangely attracted to this man named Ruben.

The post below continues this trend, and the goal of it, like I try to do in most of my articles, is to take an existing conversation and add onto it.

The topic today is mentorship. I hope after reading it you find at least one new reason to go out into the world today and make a new relationship or take an existing one deeper.

1. By making you look within, great mentors bring out the best in you:

Many people are capable of telling you what you need to do. However, great mentors guide conversations in a manner that gives you confidence and clarity of how to answer your questions for yourself.

Great mentors trust in your abilities in regards to “how” you are going to do about doing something. If they didn’t, they would not be spending time with you.

Instead, they help you on clarifying your “Why” of any one decision. Which is much more powerful when it comes to self-motivation and discovery than reminding you of the benefits of a certain decision or by telling you what they would do in your situation.

“The 4th Why often gets to the real reason.” — Conor Neill

2. A great mentors advice is rarely obvious in the moment:

Most likely you were attracted to your mentors because they have accomplished something that you too wish to accomplish. A benefit of building relationships with people like this is they have a view of the whole picture as opposed to your position of not being able to see the forest through the trees.

When we are in the middle of a mess, we can often only see the two feet in front of us. This is no doubt frustrating. However, having the perspective of someone who has a higher vantage point allows us to connect the dot that is starring at us to the dot that is just outside our scope of vision.

3. Great mentors compliment you not with words, but with their actions:

Not one of my mentors gives compliments easily. They do not give me a hug when I do something they know I am capable of doing, and they rarely reach out to offer a congratulations when I reach a milestone.

What they want, and what they expect, is that I sit back down and embrace and evaluate the process that led to extraordinary results. When they recognise you are taking the unsexy steps to reach your goals and are helping others to reach theirs, instead of giving a high-five, they either reach out to spend more time with you or offer to make an introduction to someone in their circle that can help you speed up your learning curve. And there is no higher compliment than an introduction from your mentor.

Speaking of celebrating……

4. When other doors close, the great mentor’s door opens:

Backgrounds of great mentors vary, however, one of the traits that runs consistent is during tough times, when others turn their back, they are there for you.

A good mentor is not worth their weight in gold because we celebrate with them, but because they know we are worth standing besides when we face one of the many hardships life throws our way.

5. Great mentors teach you the importance of being a giver:

The best way to get a great mentor is to be a great mentor to others. Mentors want to see the time they spend with you, not only makes a positive effect in your life, but also the people in your life.

I know that when I need something from one of my mentors, they will be there for me. But I also know that they are much more open to taking time out of their day to speak with me if my work is going to benefit someone other than myself.

6. Great mentors teach you to deal with reality:

The fastest way to jeopardise your relationship with your mentor is to come to them with dreams or something you would like to do. There are many people you can bounce ideas off of. However, the role of a mentor, is to help you deal with the reality of what you are currently doing. Action is the only thing mentors care about and they will help you navigate this slippery slope, but only if bring them facts, and only facts.

They do not want to hear, “This is what I hope to see happen tomorrow.” They want to hear, “This is what I am facing right now.”

Visit Michael at MikeThompsonBlog.com and see more of his work here.

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