5 Tips for Finding a Mentor | Modern Manual Therapy Blog - Manual Therapy, Videos, Neurodynamics, Podcasts, Research Reviews

5 Tips for Finding a Mentor

Finding a mentor is one thing that I always recommend to new grads, novice clinicians, and even those who are more seasoned.

With all the new ways we are learning to interact with our patients, learning new assessments and treatments is not enough. Mentors can challenge you, and foster a passion for learning and successful outcomes both in the clinic and business. Here is Dr. Ben Fung's 5 Tips for Finding a Mentor.

Finding a good mentor (or even several) gives you invaluable advantages in your journey towards establishing, developing, and growing a career. I can certainly attribute some very critical circumstances to which I relied upon a mentor's words of wisdom to choose the best paths which lead me to where I am today. There, I present to you....

5 Tips For Finding A Mentor

1. Personality
When finding a mentor, make sure they have a good personality. After all, you'll be interacting with this person for quite some time in the coming future. They need to be personable, compatible, and respectable in your eye. They'll likely have many encouraging things to say to you, and, if they're a good one, they'll have some chastising and constructive criticism as well.
2. Keeps you in check
Speaking of which, one of the most important things a mentor can do for you is to prune and sharpen your dreams. Much like a diamond cutter makes the rough that much more valuable with each strike, your mentor must carefully and purposely prune you into the gem from behind the rough. This can include reining you back in when your head is way beyond the clouds -- like, in outer space. They also know how to smack you out of your depressio-doldrums as well. In essence, they keep your outlook balanced and keep you honest with yourself.

3. Attentive and accessible
A good mentor needs to be quickly accessible and very attentive to the many things you won't be saying. They can read between the lines, through your poker face, and into your heart-of-heart-of-intentions... even the ones YOU don't even know you have. They are quick to respond to your questions and can do so with compassion as well as understanding. After all, they were once where you were.
4. Willing to check up on you
Sometimes, mentees forget to check in with their mentors. A good mentor will remember you; recall that its been a couple months of radio silence. For whatever reason, I've found that this is commonly the time when mentees need their mentors most. As such, if you see a prospective mentor who has a habit of checking in on people, remembering them even after months if not years past, you've found a good one.

5. Willing give you the ugly, ugly truth.
When it's all said and done, you're moving onto the next phase of life, your mentor needs to be willing to give you the ugly, ugly truth. Stage by stage in our lives, we tend to see things with a certain lense of naivety. However, with this innocence exists the wonderful thing of hope. However, hope must be tempered with reality as carbon is tempered with iron to make steel. When hopes and realities align, great things happen. Sometimes, the ugly truth is what is required to harden the steel, create a definitive edge, and purpose an instrument to a great cause.

This last one certainly happened to me; my mentor promoted me outside of his very organization with his sharing of the ugly, ugly truth. You know what? I'm better for it, and, it's a testament to his mentorship that he was willing to lose me for my own betterment.

So I ask you, have you found someone?

Do they have all these qualities? Well... Ask them out! ..... As a mentor, of course ;)

(I know you were thinking it.)

That's it for now. Until next time!

Thanks for the tips Ben! Keeping it Eclectic...

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