On the path to success, many people want to go faster, further, and succeed with fewer headaches. One way to reach success quicker in your journey to master a skill or become more efficient, is to get a really good mentor on your team.
What does a good mentor look like?
If you are just starting out, a good mentor looks like someone that can meet you where you are at and stretch you to the next level just enough that you are growing but not so much that you begin to panic. Growth is sometimes a challenge for the individual who is at the beginning level. It takes a lot of patience for even accomplished people when they are being mentored.
The advantage for the mentor to coach someone through these beginning stages is that they get to cover the principles of building a strong foundation over and over, and that information will sink in on an unconscious level. Covering the small infinite details and principles of a craft will only enhance knowledge in certain areas.
Positive Mindsets Exist
A good mentor looks at the student’s work and knows how to point out the positive and what they are doing right just as much as they point out what isn’t working. They balance the positive and the negative so that the student is motivated to keep moving forward and trying.
The interaction of the mentor and the person being coached is critical. Is the mentor positive and inspiring, or does the mentor motivate through fear, put downs, or shame? What style works best for you?
The Blessing of Hard
When some part of a craft is exceptionally difficult, it is that much more of a benefit to have a mentor that will help the student stay on task and keep working on the skill, until eventually the student is able to successfully accomplish what he/she set out to do. Some of the hidden benefits of sticking to it are that the student can penetrate the depth of the practice. If something comes too easy, it is common to overlook some principle that could be learned when a deep concentration is put in place.
Having a mentor to build your practice and skill can help cut years off your learning curve, but finding the right one is important to your overall experience and keeping you properly motivated to move forward.