How old is mentoring? When and where did it all start?
According to the Greek Odyssey, a loyal adviser of Odysseus entrusted with the care and education of Telemachus. This original ‘Mentor’ was appointed by Odysseus to act as tutor and guide to his son Telemachus while Odysseus was fighting in Troy.
“This is my son, mine own Telemachus…”
According to legend, the goddess Athena appeared to Telemachus in the guise of his Mentor and advised him to stand up to his mother Penelope’s suitors, hence the idea of a ‘mentor’ as a guide and wise counsellor.
Mentoring has been described as the conveying of experience, gained wisdom, insights and lessons that one has learned in life.
Mentors can be like beacons – the guiding lights for younger/newer/newly recruited people. The aim of mentoring is to help them understand their potential, their strong points and also inspire and motivate them.
Being a good mentor also takes an emotional commitment that is very much like parenting in its drive to help teach a person how to succeed in their aims, objectives and goals.
Blog written with CMI Southern mentoring champion, Dan Carey
Daniel enjoys a career in business improvement, management development, and productivity, helping both business owners and managers in aspects of business administration, business growth, knowledge transfer and best practice. He is a member of the Chartered Management Institute’s Southern Regional Board and has the responsibility for championing mentoring.