“People looking for help want someone who has seen and lived through his/her own imperfection and can help work on real-world strategies for managing it.”
Glen Hickerson has been involved with the Law Society’s Mentor Connect program for a year.
Why he became involved with Mentor Connect:
“The first is a selfish and tellingly nerdy reason: I read some very good science indicating that if you want to develop your own capacity for persevering in the face of adversity, one of the best methods is to mentor someone else. Life and practice bless us with an abundance of adversity to learn from, so I thought it might be a good idea to put it to good use. It turns out to be true. Sometimes half of the audience of your own wise counsel is yourself, and it is very selfishly helpful to have the excuse of a mentoring meeting to reflect on what you yourself are doing.
The second reason is somewhat connected: I realized that we are all imperfect and that a mentor who was perfect would be quite useless. People looking for help want someone who has seen and lived through his/her own imperfection and can help work on real-world strategies for managing it. So, the fact that I don’t naturally refrain from letting my e-mail in-box run my day isn’t an irredeemable flaw in me as a potential helper; it is a tool for helping someone else.
As you might be able to tell from this answer, it is just possible that a third reason is that I like to talk.”
A bit about his current mentoring relationship:
“It is very loosely organized. We talk/meet as and when he needs some input or advice. Mostly I find I am not really giving much advice because he already knows what he is doing. The real value is in his having a “sounding board” for his ideas.”
What he enjoys the most about being a mentor with the Mentor Connect program:
“It gets my head out of my own day-to-day thought patterns and lets me think of things from someone else’s perspective.”
What he hopes his mentee learns from working with him:
“I hope he feels better and more confident in his practice.”
What he has learned from working with his mentee:
“I have learned:
(a) I had forgotten how hard it is to start up a practice.
(b) It takes patience and time to develop a good practice and it is hard to wait, and
(c) There is a lot I don’t know.”
If a lawyer is thinking about becoming a mentor, they should know…
“Being perfect and never having made mistakes is not in the job description.”
The Law Society of Alberta offers Mentor Moments to acknowledge the contributions made by volunteer lawyers in the Mentor Connect Program and to encourage other Alberta lawyers to consider participating.
We do not attempt to verify mentors’ statements in their Mentor Moment profiles and the opinions expressed are solely their own. The Law Society of Alberta does not endorse any individual profiled or contents provided.