MENTORSHIP PROGRAMME

Stephen Legal™ from time to time organises mentorship programmes for young people (including young lawyers) in conjunction with relevant organisations in order to better prepare and equip them for the future in the pursuit of their career goals and objectives.

The programme also connects young people (mentees) with mentors who will provide the needed guidance as they journey through.

Details of these programmes would be made available at the appropriate time including information on how to participate.

Click here to register.

What you need to know:

The definition of mentorship or mentoring is to some extent, elusive. However, the most common definition is that mentoring is a professional relationship in which a more experienced person (the mentor) assists a less experienced person (the mentee) in acquiring knowledge and certain skills that will enhance the mentee’s both personal and professional growth and development.

Beyond the above traditional definition, the concept of mentoring encompasses a whole lot. It is possible to have multiple mentors as this would help in widening the knowledge of the mentee. For instance, a mentee could have a mentor in a particular trade or profession, or an industry mentor (who knows a lot more about a specific industry as a whole and not just a certain trade or profession). (S)he could also have a mentor within an organization (organizational mentor) who can assist in ensuring positive growth of the mentee within the organization by clarifying a whole lot of issues and processes within the organisation.

It is also important to note that mentoring could be formal or informal. This is perhaps the two broad categorization of mentoring. Formal mentoring typically involves a structured process based on specific business objective. The results of this objective can be assessed and measured over time. The process often involves a stated time frame or schedule. The pairing of mentors and mentees is strategic and may not be based on choice. Formal mentoring is also common within organisations and the process often brings direct benefits to the organisation.

Informal mentoring on the other hand involves a loose structure. It is said to be based on the chemistry between the persons involved in the mentoring relationship, that is, the mentor and the mentee. Typically, there may be no specified goals per se and the outcome is unknown and uncertain, even though there are expectations. Informal mentoring relationship may lead to long-term friendship. The mentee may walk to or directly apply to the person (s)he desires to serve as a mentor or be linked up by a third party. Such link up may be facilitated or the platform provided by organised training, mentoring events and role model interactive forums arranged by some organizations. It is for interested young prospective mentees to take advantage of such training, events and forums by registering and attending.

*It is important to note that Stephen Legal™ sees to the organising of such events and also works to ensure that persons who register under the Stephen Legal™ platform enjoy reasonable discounts for paid trainings and events organised by other firms and organisations whom it partners with.

Benefits:

Study has shown that the benefits of mentoring to both mentors and mentees are quite many. A number of them have been identified. They include:

(For the Mentee)

  • Career planning: Mentoring helps with career planning and development. The process provides the mentee with the avenue to share his or her aspirations with the mentor who will provide the needed insights and guidance.
  • Advice: Having a mentor gives one the opportunity of receiving the necessary practical advice on certain issues that calls for decision making.
  • Networking: Naturally, a mentoring relationship exposes a mentee to the mentor’s important network of contacts and this means more doors opening for the mentee.
  • Talent development: A good mentor would identify the talents of a mentor and help nurture same.
  • Source of encouragement & inspiration: Mentoring provides an excellent source of encouragement and upliftment to the mentee. The mentor often gives the mentee the needed push in his or career goals.
  • Learning from other’s experience: Mentoring provides the opportunity to learn from other’s experience. The advantage of this is that one would get to learn about mistakes made by others and then aim to avoid same easily.
  • Maturity: A mentoring process helps a mentee grow and mature faster, thereby gaining the capacity to make decisions with a higher sense of responsibility.
  • Character: A good mentor helps develop in the mentee a strong strength of character.

Caveat – Prospective mentees must however note that it does not follow that every senior lawyer or person having a successful career or outstanding qualifications automatically becomes a good mentor. No!

(For the Mentor):

  • Improved skills: Mentoring helps the mentor improve on skills such as communication and personal skills as well as other skills.
  • Leadership qualities: By mentoring, the mentor develops better leadership and management qualities.
  • Knowledge: Mentoring increases the knowledge base of the mentor and reinforces skills, thereby keeping him or her fresh.
  • Confidence: The mentoring process increases the confidence and motivation of the mentor.
  • Fulfillment: Mentoring has a way of rewarding the mentor with a feeling or sense of fulfillment and personal growth and achievement.
  • Increased Network: By mentoring several people, a mentor increased his circle of friends and network.
  • Recognition: The mentoring process means more recognition for the mentor and increases the value of the mentor. It can also bring about enhanced CV for better opportunities.

The DON'TS

(For the Mentee)

  • Abuse of privilege: Mentee must not abuse the privilege of establishing a firsthand relationship with a mentor. The mentee must not take the mentor for granted.
  • Bad conduct/manners: A mentee must properly conduct him or herself always and avoid bad manners. You must not see the mentoring process as an opportunity to now treat your mentor as your mate or peer. You must mind your language at all times.
  • Respect: A mentee must give the mentor due regards and avoid any form of rude behaviour. For instance, missed calls or text messages must be returned or replied in good time. Thus, mentee must learn to respond promptly to communications from the mentor.
  • No begging for money: A mentee must understand that a mentor does not automatically translate to a philanthropist or charity giver in monetary terms. What a mentor gives is much more than money. If you are lucky enough and the mentoring process builds into a lasting friendship, your mentor will certainly known when and to what extent to assist you albeit financially if and when necessary.
  • No unnecessary contact with mentor’s contacts: As mentioned above, the mentoring process brings an opportunity for the mentee to get to know the mentor’s contacts. However, except where absolutely necessary and possibly (sometimes) with the permission of the mentor, the mentee may not contact the mentor’s friends needlessly. The mentee should not assume that his or mentor’s friends has automatically become the mentee’s friends too. The mentee can smartly establish a new line of relationship with mentor’s contacts.
  • No exhibition of laziness: A mentee must be seen to be hardworking and dedicated. (S)he must not take advantage of the mentoring process to become lazy. For instance, the fact that an adviser exists in the form of a mentor must not translate into a display of mental laziness. The mentee must learn to think things through and process information adequately.
  • Lack of contact: A mentee must ensure that (s)he maintains regular contact with the mentor but without necessarily being a pest or impatiently disturbing. It must be noted that mentors are usually busy people. who magnanimously create time for their mentees.

(For the Mentor)

In a nutshell, a mentor must note that respect is reciprocal. (S)he must treat the mentee properly, maintaining the required standard. A mentor must never take advantage of the mentee. The consequences of any such misconduct are often huge and damaging. A mentor must not inspire a mentee into mental oblivion.

*NB: If you are in need of further guidance or have any specific issue you would like to share with us regarding a mentoring experience, feel free to contact us through any of our channels and feedback forms on the site.

 

Click here to register.

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