Q: I’d like to mentor other lawyers, but how can I find time?
A: Finding time is about making time by prioritizing…but there are also many ways to mentor that don’t really take time. Here are a quick half-dozen examples:
- Be a quiet mentor: lead by example. Co-workers do watch, learn, and model their behavior after you.
- Small things can be the most instructive or inspiring. For example, make a place at the table for a colleague or bring someone else into a conversation (even in the elevator).
- Ask the questions in a meeting that others can’t yet ask or address questions you know are unspoken yet on their minds.
- Open doors for others, such as by making an introduction or putting in a good word.
- Read people’s bios and LinkedIn profiles to find commonalities to mine with them.
- Disagree agreeably.
What I am encouraging you to do is simply be helpful in the small moments by sharing information, assisting access to others, and paving small bumps in the road rather than thinking you have to devote lots of time and energy to sitting people down regularly in order to mentor them. Great mentoring can occur quickly, informally, organically, and even on the fly.
Please make it a point to see and seize mentoring moments. It will enrich your career as well as that of so many others. I just did it by posting this Q and A.