Mentoring - What is a Mentor?

What is Mentoring

  • Do you know that it is almost impossible to get through life without being mentored at least once?
  • Did you remember when another person took the time to instruct, guide, or assist you in a positive way? It could have been a teacher, an older brother, a neighbor, a coach, or even a friend. That was a mentoring experience.
  • Although mentors generally are older than those they mentor, it is not a requirement. What is required is that they have information to share that will help the other person.

One person helping another climb up a mountain

History of Mentoring

  • Do you really want to read about the history of mentoring or that Shakespeare mentioned it in one of his “Henry” plays? Maybe, maybe not.
  • Do you need to know that the word Mentor comes from Homer? Which Homer? The first one. Mentor was the tutor for Ulysses’ son. Probably not.
  • What you do need to know is a general and personal definition of mentoring.

Definition of Mentoring

The Oxford Dictionaries online offers this excerpted definition:
mentor(men•tor)
noun

  • an experienced and trusted adviser: he was her friend and mentor until his death in 1915
  • an experienced person in a company, college, or school who trains and counsels new employees or students.

verb
[with object]

  • advise or train (someone, especially a younger colleague).

What’s Missing

As you can see this definition leaves out the sense of personal commitment and sensitivity the mentor has for the mentee.

It is that personal commitment that BreakThru is looking for in its mentors. Commitment and personal connection is what often separate a good mentor from a tutor.

Mentoring is not a one time event; it extends over a period of time that can be weeks, months, years, or even a lifetime. BreakThru is looking for a one year commitment for mentors.