New Zealand Law Society - How to maintain a successful mentoring partnership

How to maintain a successful mentoring partnership

"A great mentor isn’t one that solves your problems but one that provides perspective based on their experiences and encourages exploring various solutions." Mentoring pilot interview with Yemo Guo

Like any professional relationship, maintaining a successful mentoring partnership requires commitment, enthusiasm and a sense of common purpose.

Maintaining this unique professional relationship requires trust, respect, confidentiality, commitment and a willingness to challenge and be challenged.

Find your own unique approach to the mentor/mentee partnership

The best approach is usually a mix of formal and informal interaction focused on professional career issues and challenges. No matter the preferred approach, whether it is formal or informal, a successful mentoring partnership is built on trust, respect and confidentiality.

Plan useful activities

After you've determined the objectives of your mentoring partnership and defined some goals, the next step is to work together to create activities that will help you achieve them. For example, if your objective is to improve skillsets, you may wish to practise a specific career-related skill.

Ensure you are both meeting your initial goals

Once you have met a few times and laid out how the programme will work best for both of you, take a pulse check to see if you are on track. Determine if your initial 1-3 goals are the right ones or alter as you need to.

Are you both?

  • Making time to commit to the mentoring partnership
  • Respecting boundaries and maintaining confidentiality
  • Being honest and supportive
  • Actively listening as well as speaking
  • Respecting the beliefs, values and personal attitudes of others
  • Prepared to be challenged.

“There is an element of giving back and providing advice to those who come after you, in the same way you were provided mentorship when you were developing.” NZLS Mentoring Programme - Victoria Rea, Solicitor at Wilson Harle

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