"Mentoring is a deliberate pairing of a more skilled or experienced person with a lesser skilled or experienced one, with the agreed-upon goal of having the lesser skilled person grow and develop specific competencies." (Beyond the Myths and Magic of Mentoring, Margot Murray)
This word has its origin in myth. The goddess Athena, disguised as an old wise man named Mentor, was the teacher and guardian of Telemarchus, the son of Odysseus (the hero of Homer's Iliad) while Odysseus was away fighting in the Trojan War. In modern use, mentor may include some or all of these roles: advisor, coach, counselor, experienced leader, advocate, patron, role model, trainer, or guide.
To avoid misinterpretation in this document, the term mentor refers to an individual with whom another less experienced person has established a formal relationship with clearly defined goals. The protégé (see below) and mentor are two individuals who will engage in a structured relationship with specific objectives. The mentor will share with the protégé the responsibility of achieving the goals rather then bear sole responsibility. Functions performed by the mentor could include being:
Further functions and the attributes of an effective mentor are described later.
A dictionary definition of the term includes "a person under the patronage or protection of another." This is not, however, how the word is used in most mentoring guides. Rather, the protégé is the 'student' who will learn from the mentor. Other terms used for protégé include mentee, apprentice, candidate and trainee. The mentor and protégé are two individuals who will engage in a structured relationship with specific objectives. The protégé will share the responsibility of achieving the goals rather then bear sole responsibilityFurther attributes of an effective protégé are described later..
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