When I was 19 I began working at a law firm to do some work experience ahead of going to law school and the person who was charged with looking after me was the brilliant Shane Kersh. Over the next 3 years I went back to that law firm each summer and I have to say that under the mentorship of Shane, I learned as much as I did from the course that I was studying. In the ned I didn’t pursue a career as a lawyer but that was certainly nothing to do with Shane, I instead began this online business but the lessons which he taught me have helped me ever since I left the law firm for the last time.
It is my turn now to be the mentor for one of my new staff members, and I have been inspired by the way in which Shane was with me, and reflecting on how he did it. If you have to mentor someone then these are some of the tips which I learned from the great Shane Kersh.
Whenever Shane was teaching me something of value he would not shut up about it and each day, multiple times per day in fact, he would consistently tell me and ask me about the subject. I used to get sick of this and to be honest I thought he’d lost his mind sometimes, but those are the pieces of information which I never forgot. Repetition is the father of learning and this is a great tip when you are teaching someone something new.
Keep You On Your Toes
It is important as a mentor that the person you are mentoring doesn’t get too carried away and thinks that they know it all. For that reason Shane used to always pull stunts which would keep me on my toes. I can remember once he convinced me that we had lost a case because of a piece of paperwork which I hadn’t filed. It was true thatI didn’t file the paperwork but the story about the case was made up, but it certainly served its purpose!
Be On Their Side
Whatever is said between you and the person who you are mentoring is one thing but you must always maintain the respect between the two of you and that is why it is so important that you are on their side when it is needed. Failure to do this will alter the relationship and they may not listen to you like before.
Allow Them To Fail
You should never set the person up to fail but there will come a time when you have to let them go into situations where they might. It can be tempting to avoid risk in this way but they only way that they’ll learn is if you give them the freedom to do so. If they don’t fail then you have done your job well as a mentor, if they do fail then they will learn many lessons from it, and you will also have done a good job as their mentor.