Today (27 October 2020) is National Mentoring Day and the theme is ‘Mentoring Rocks’, which focuses on sharing experiences and paying tribute to mentoring received or given and encourages everyone to show their appreciation for mentoring and to recognise mentors who have made a difference.
It was launched to recognise and celebrate the benefits of mentoring and takes place on 27 October each year. The day was created by Chelsey Baker, an award-winning business mentor to help encourage and celebrate mentoring in all its forms.
Their mission is “to reach our goal of making mentoring accessible to everyone and to shine a spotlight on excellence in mentoring.”
The aims of the day are:
- To encourage and celebrate mentoring in all its forms
- To inspire more people to get involved in mentoring
- To highlight the business benefits, personal and team rewards for running mentoring programmes
- To support mentoring and collaboration in all areas of business and society
- Provide a platform to showcase and reward mentoring excellence
- Continue their campaign to support awareness on the benefits of mentoring, offering resources for others to do the same
More information can be found on their website.
At Blake Morgan, we launched our own Mentoring Programme back in January 2017. It is there to provide a readily-available support network for more personalised support in order to maximise potential, develop skills and improve performance.
The programme is available to everyone, be that as a mentor, a mentee or both.
Some of our mentors show their appreciation for how mentoring has benefitted them here:
I have been a mentor for a wide variety of people over the years from trainees to peers to GCSE students. Every time it has been a rewarding experience and is an opportunity for growth both for the mentor and mentee.
- Jill Bainbridge
I enjoyed mentoring a senior associate at our firm. It was easy to do as I was mentoring a person that I liked and respected but did not usually come across in my day to day work.
As my mentee is a mother juggling career and young family I felt like I could relate to her struggles and offer what she fed back was helpful advice. I could share my experiences on how I walked that path whilst finding some peace amidst the stress. For me, it was all about understanding my values and making conscious decisions on how I would balance those competing demands; this helped me feel satisfied that I was doing a good enough job in each part of my life without the guilt and worry that my contribution was not enough.
It was my mentee that was doing all of the hard work though! I was mainly listening and asking questions; understanding my mentee's thinking on choices she was making; challenging why certain conclusions were being drawn or paths were being taken; digging deeper into 'why's. My mentee is now a Legal Director and I can see her being a future partner at the firm. She decides how much support she needs, and I follow her lead. I enjoy our conversations and find them rewarding as I learn things about myself as well from this process, and development of myself and others in my team is one area of my job that I love the most.
It has been a rewarding experience for the both of us and I would recommend taking part.
- Penny Rinta-Suksi
I am lucky enough to be mentored by a Business Group Head and as a member of the firm's BSS, having the viewpoint of a lawyer is very welcome. Our arrangement is very informal and tends to take place over a virtual coffee via Teams or a phone call. Sometimes I approach the session with a subject in mind, but more often than not we just start talking about how things are going generally (the week, day, a particular piece of work etc.) and see what rabbit hole we fall down! We generally pick up on what we discussed last time to see how things have panned out and what might have been useful. It is a very relaxed opportunity to sense check ideas or to unpick something more complex and I find that it is like putting brackets around something and isolating it from the rest of my day or workload. We always chat about how we are feeling generally – particularly during lockdown and whilst we are in the main working from home – and it is helpful to understand a bit more about what is on the minds of a different team across the firm. I am very grateful for the arrangement and would encourage others to seek out another dimension through the mentoring scheme.
- Maria Coombe