About the Term "Mentoring"

Mentor, the Name Giver from Mythology

In Homer's epic about Ulysses' odyssey, Mentor appears as a friend of the hero and as the protector of his son Telemach. After Ulysses went to the Trojan War, the goddess Athena, who is kind to him, takes on the form of Mentor from time to time to watch over Telemach. Mentor therefore has both male and female characteristics in the epic, indicating an intense and multi-layered relationship between him and his protégé. In modern parlance, the term is used as a synonym for a paternal, i.e. older and more experienced friend, teacher or counsellor.

Mentoring today

Mentoring, an instrument in human resources development, refers to the exchange between an experienced person (mentor) and a less experienced person (mentee). The mentor passes on knowledge and experience to the mentee in order to promote their personal and professional development. In contrast to a coach, the mentor does not take a neutral position towards the person to be advised, but is characterised by special commitment.