4. Get Clear About Your ‘Why’ 

First, define your need. Do you want to build technical skills, relationship skills, political acumen, etc.? Once you have a solid understanding of your needs, make a list of candidates who could potentially fill the role. Then, build the relationship: Get to know mentor candidates in a casual setting first to see if you have natural rapport and if they show interest in helping you grow.   - Sheri NasimCenter for Executive Excellence 

5. Mentor Up 

“Mentor up” in order to reach higher plateaus. When you look for the ideal mentor, look for the person who is or has been where you want to be. Be prepared to take hard criticisms, advice and guidance. After all, a good mentor is there to show you the way forward. Always be open-minded. Your mentor could be younger than you, or of the opposite sex or race.   - Latrece Williams-McKnightMcKnight Williams & Associates, LLC

6. Don’t Get Stuck On Defining The Relationship 

Many professionals avoid mentoring because they perceive it as a big time commitment. Learn how to ask questions to successful professionals. When you ask good questions, potential mentors will take an interest in you. Some conversations will evolve into mentorship, others will fizzle out, but either way, you will meet interesting people and gain insight into your career.   - Lindsey Day, Lindsey Day Consulting 

7. Ask Someone For Their Guidance 

The best way to find a mentor is to ask. But don’t ask for mentorship necessarily; instead, ask for guidance in navigating a certain issue. People enjoy being asked for their insight, and it’s an easy entree into a conversation. Whether over a phone call or coffee, ask if you can reach out again in the future at the end of your meeting.   - Ross Blankenship, PhDBespoke Partners / bp|leadership 

8. Be Curious, Not Only Centered On Your Own Needs 

I have been mentoring coaches for three years and have been mentored myself a few times in my career. To find a good mentor, be genuinely curious about how successful people around you work and grow, whether they are in the same industry or not. It will help you identify areas for growth for yourself. Offer to assist the person you would like as a mentor in return for feedback on your ideas.   - Belinda MJ BrownEquanimity Executive, LLC 

9. Make It Easy 

Don’t email your potential mentor with an overly general question that is impossible to answer. Someone once asked me, “How can I become a successful entrepreneur?” Instead, start small. Ask them for specific advice on your biggest challenge, implement it, and let them know that they made a difference. This positive feedback loop may ultimately blossom into a more comprehensive relationship.   - Greg FaxonGreg Faxon Enterprises, LLC 

10. Approach It With A Light Touch 

Identify people who could support your career growth. Request an informational interview. Present this as you wanting to understand their role, etc., for research for your career plan. If you hit it off, they may offer to mentor you. You might think you fit, and they don’t offer, find a reason to follow up. See if keeps working and you may have your mentor. If not, keep working through your list.   - Mary SchaeferArtemis Path, Inc.