Mentoring is a powerful and popular way for people to learn a variety of personal and professional skills. In fact, mentoring is one of the oldest forms of influence. Popular mentoring literature attributes the origin of the term mentoring to Homer, one of the ancient Greek storytellers.
We have all experienced some type of mentoring; most adults can identify a person who, at some time in their life, had a significant and positive impact on them. Mentors can be friends, relatives, co-workers, teachers, as well as historic or contemporary personalities. Most often, a mentor is a more experienced or older person who acts as a role model, compatriot, challenger, guide or cheerleader. Jan Cummings, a consultant in Fullerton California that specializes in developing mentor programs for her clients defined it as: “Mentoring is a relationship. Through this developmental partnership, the Mentee, with assistance from the Mentor set goals for the key purpose of the development of the Mentee. Enhancing skills, gaining new knowledge and implementing new behaviours are the intended targets of a Mentoring Program.”
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