What is Mentoring
"Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be."
- Eric Parsloe, The Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring
Mentor was a friend of Odysseus, king of Ithaca in ancient Greece. Before leaving for the Trojan War, Odysseus asked his friend to watch over his son Telemachus. Mentor acted as a surrogate father, introduced Telemachus to the counsel of elders and helped him make an appeal for the ships he desired. As a respected member of the community, Mentor used his experience, his wisdom and his influence to directly assist Telemachus and to intervene on his behalf.
Consultant is derived from the Latin word consulere, meaning “take counsel.” It implies a provider of expertise and advice. While popular use of the term consultant has broadened, it still implies an individual or firm with a specific expertise or solution to a specific problem. The usual expectation from a company hiring a consultant is that the consultant will take accountability for the design and often implementation of a solution to a specific challenge.
Coach has a more complex history. While the roots include the familiar athletics coach or tutor, the fundamental source for the word is the Hungarian word kocsi. The word is derived from the name of a town Kocs where ornate specialized wagons were made. Kocsi had common usage as a tool or resource for making transition, journey or task easier. While it may be a stretch from 16th century Hungarian, it is not a bad guideline for coaching today.
- Barry Goldberg, International Coach Federation