As per teachings of sayyidi wa sandi Hadhrat Mawlana Mohammad Taqi Usmani (may Allah preserve him) following was written to a sincere brother searching for a Shaykh,
“The “tip” in sulook is yak dar geer muhkam geer or tauheed e matlab. That is after carefully selecting a Shaykh sticking to him no matter what.
People slip and fall. It is natural. They blame themselves or their shuyukh and then start doubting their selection or become shy and non-open to Shaykh. This peer-murid relationship is a very intimate relationship. To benefit you have to be very open. Not even try to hide anything. How can the Shaykh reform and do islah if he is not made aware of the short comings?
What is the purpose of bayat/islah? If murid was already perfect, what was the need to go through the Shaykh? Wird, zikr and other things are prescribed to facilitate this process. They do can not replace the main thing: the effort of reformation (islah).
Previously this was done by being in presence of Shaykh for long duration of time. That is staying in the khanqah (similar to treatment under direct observation). Now the life is more complex. Very few have this opportunity. It is for this reason that in Ashrafiya tariq correspondence is essential. It may be email, postal letter, sms or telephone conversation. But you have to be very open. Actual details of daily life incidents that are suspicious of moral short comings have to be narrated. For example, your angry attitude displayed by loud voice and sharp comments when your wife asked something mundane have to be reported.”