I've often written about mentorship and coaching. This is a topic that is very close to me. Melissa Stanger writes in Business Insider about the three types of mentors everyone should have. She lists these:
- A mentor about the same age as you: This is known as the peer mentorship relationship. A mentor your own age is someone you connect with and learn from, and who probably learns from you as well.
- A mentor two to four years older than you: Someone who's been through the same thing you're currently going through can give you valuable advice -- especially if they went through it only a few years before.
- A mentor much more senior than you: A mentor who is much older than you will have had a lot more time to reflect on issues they've seen when they were your age. If the problem you face is heated or tied to some emotion, a senior mentor has had time to distance themselves from the problem and can offer you objective advice.
It's an interesting article, and I agree that having these three types of mentors will benefit you. However, I don't prefer to specify what mentors you should have … at least, not in that way. For me, it's more important to have coaches and mentors who bring a different perspective. For example, I recommend you establish coaching relationships with mentors outside your unit—preferably, outside your organization. When you have a problem or a question, these mentors can provide a fresh perspective, unhindered by whatever is happening locally.