A mentor is a powerful ally in business, education, and many other disciplines that we engage in on a daily basis. No matter where your career, sport, or life will take you, a mentor is a friend that you can count on for great advice and assistance in making smart decisions that will impact your future in positive ways.
Many businesses incorporate mentorship programs into their onboarding structure as a result of this positivity. The organizational commitment that businesses bring into the structure of their future successes is telling for those on the hunt for a first or new career move. Whether you’re just finishing your degree or looking for a mid-career jump into a new opportunity, a mentor program that is aimed at steering new employees toward success is something highly prized by new recruits—and soon-to-be-mentees.
A great mentor is someone who is there to listen to your problems, help you organically create solutions, and head off any future points of friction before they arrive. This means that a work mentoring relationship is one that must be open, honest, and constant.
A mentee must feel confident in bringing their troubles to the person assigned to provide them with this support. Learning how to be a great mentor takes time and effort, and the training involved in becoming a success in this space can really energize your work in other areas as well.
This is especially true for relationships in which the mentor acts as a supervisor to the mentee. This can easily become toxic if the mentor holds their rank over the head of those they are supervising in these dual roles. Understanding how to be a friend, colleague, and boss all at the same time can be tricky for those who are new to the role, but this is the best way to get the most out of your team and make the experience of work a more enjoyable part of everyone’s life.
Legal experts like Malliha Wilson know these lessons firsthand. As senior counsel at Nava Wilson LLP, Wilson is a key leader in the daily tasks that the firm engages in. Wilson is an accomplished human rights lawyer and knows the power of trust and human connection. Building bridges is the best way to bring out the best in people, and she has successfully leveraged these important approaches to craft a long and storied career in the law. She served as Assistant Deputy Attorney General of the Government of Ontario from 2008 to 2016 and was the first visible minority to hold the office.
Wilson also functioned as the Senior Appellate Litigation Counsel for more than 30 years. She has participated in around two dozen notable cases at the Supreme Court of Canada and the Ontario Court of Appeal. Specializing in human and indigenous rights, Wilson brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of human rights and interaction frameworks to the table.
While not every mentor can be as experienced as Wilson, finding a colleague who brings the same energy and framework to the table is crucial for making your transition into a new workspace as efficient and enjoyable as possible.
Working within a mentorship program can be a rewarding experience that pays dividends long into the future. These are often designed with employee retention in mind, but the structure of the mentee-mentor relationship goes far beyond corporate issues and strikes right at the heart of what makes us all human.