In Greek mythology, Mentor was a friend of Odysseus. When Odysseus sets off for the Trojan war, he leaves his son Telemachus in Mentor’s care. It is said that Athena, the goddess of wisdom would often appear to Telemachus disguised as Mentor.
Today, the word #mentor refers to an often older and wiser counselor or advisor. I must point out, that mentors don’t always have to be older, just more experienced in the area of their #mentorship. I have several mentors, one of which is in his 20s. He helps me with guidance on understanding and managing #GenZs, technology and financial inclusion which he is a guru. Mentoring by younger people is reffered to as #reversementoring.
Though mentoring is often confused with coaching, mentoring is first of all a relationship. Mentoring is an advisory relationship, often associated with an experienced mentor guiding a protégé. Mentoring tends to have a broader focus not limited to professional life, but extending to personal life. Coaching on the other hand tends to be more narrowly focussed on shorter term performance problems and goals. Both approaches are effective for improving performance of individuals and teams. 80% of fortune 500 companies, have mentoring programmes and studies reveal the benefits of these programmes to the organisation, mentors and mentees.
Mentors are a very important part of personal and career development. High performing individuals often point to Mentors as vital parts of their success stories.
We all need mentors, and though many mentoring relationships are informal, mentoring can be formalised in organisations via mentoring programmes.
Mentors are a great source of advice and referrals. They also play the role of career sponsors and advocates at crucial career milestones.
We can’t do life alone. We often need people who have walked a similar path to share some of their wisdom.
I spent the last 2 days facilitating a 2 day session on Mentoring Skills. It was a great opportunity to learn and share experiences with senior management executives of a leading financial institution.
Ever benefitted from a mentor?
Considering a mentoring programme?