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History Of Mentoring

Nov 15, 2007
A mentor is often defined as "a trusted counsellor or guide" or "a wise, loyal advisor or coach." The action of mentoring itself is classified as one-to-one encouragement, advice, or befriending for an individual.

The original Mentor is a character in Homer's epic poem The Odyssey. When Odysseus went to fight in the Trojan War, he entrusted the care of his kingdom to Mentor, including overseeing and teaching Telemachus, Odysseus's son.

Famous Mentoring saying:

"Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction." by John Crosby

"Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be." by Eric Parsloe, Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring.

Today a wide range of employers acknowledge that their senior staff need nurturing as well as other personnel, and so the demand is growing. Previously it was primarily middle management who received mentoring. But that has changed in the last few years and many CEOs and MDs now actively seek mentoring to advance their careers, and personal development. Individual mentoring for top executives is now a timely, much needed, and sought after services.

In today's busy, target driven and often stressful society, many businesses support and actively encourage their staff to have a mentor, or attend a mentoring course. Some businesses also offer fully customised mentoring seminars in-house.

But what can mentors offer?

A personal mentor is someone who cares about people; someone they can easily trust, who can help them to develop their potential. Sessions are both private and confidential ensuring an environment where each client feels safe and supported.

Professional mentoring is about helping mentees to understand, plan and implement whatever it is that they want to achieve. Mentors assist others to make significant transitions in knowledge, work or thinking.

A mentor provides guidance and support in a variety of ways to a developing individual, acting as confidante, role model or tutor. Through a variety of approaches they help expand mentees' horizons and increase their chances of success on every level, offering guidance, support and assistance as the person faces new challenges. Like the original character in The Odyssey, mentors assist by non-judgmental listening, giving advice, and through sharing their experiences, their own life challenges and successes.

Mentoring is designed to help each person to fully understand where they are now, where they want to go, and how to achieve it in the best way possible. It also provides a highly confidential way to share and explore problems, difficulties and strategies. Today, thousands of people worldwide from all walks of life benefit from this form of help and advice.

Some of the areas that mentors work with are goal setting and creating effective, more enjoyable ways to achieve short and long-term goals, both business and personal.

"It is not what we give but what we share, for the gift without the giver is bare." (Unknown)
About the Author
Genevieve Dawid is a respected mentor offering dynamic, result-oriented approach to mentoring and personal development.
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