Ask your potential mentor if they can make time to meet with you for an hour. You don't want to be rushed and have enough time for the other person to ask you questions about your goals, etc. When I decided that I wanted to find a mentor, I had in mind a person whose blog posts and business advice I had been reading for years. That said, I really value mentoring; however, I believe that mentoring should happen naturally and be a good fit for both parties.
By remembering some of my mentors, I can attest that this is precisely how those relationships began. You may need to meet up sometimes and get to know them, learn about their career and current goals before asking them to be your mentor. Choose a person that you think would be a great mentor to you and simply ask for advice. In my experience, the best way to do this is to get to know potential mentors organically over time through informal exchanges, lunches, coffees, emails, etc.
Another paradigm shift is to realize that the best way to get authentic and enthusiastic mentoring is to demonstrate that you deserve to be the type of person that a busy executive would want to spend time advising. Asking someone directly to be your mentor is not only unfair to the person, as it puts them in a position they might not even want to be in, but it also makes them seem like someone they're just looking to take. Mentors are people who have experience in a topic that interests you or who have achieved a level of success that you intend to achieve. My first mentor was too busy for me, even though he volunteered for a formal program, so it didn't matter that he had a big influence on my field.
Even if you already have an idea of who you want to contact, taking the time to research more potential mentors is never a waste of time. But as you reflect on the situation, realize that your mentor may be going through things that you don't know about, Copeland says. Well, the workplace isn't much different when it comes to developing a sincere mentoring relationship with someone who could have a significant impact on your career path. Once you decide what you're looking for (and why), you'll be better informed to choose the best mentor for you.
I have been part of organizations with forced mentoring, and it always seemed very uncomfortable to ask someone to be my mentor formally.