Introduction: What Does Mentoring Mean?
Definition of Mentoring: The modern usage of mentor – trusted friend, counsellor or teacher – first appeared in François Fénelon’s Les Aventures de Telemaque in 1699, Wikipedia (2009). Dictionary.com has a similar definition for a mentor,
“Wise and trusted counsellor or teacher, an influential senior sponsor or supporter.” And Wikipedia notes that “Mentors provide their expertise to less-experienced individuals to help them advance their careers, enhance their education.”
An important aspect of professional success involves participating in mentoring programs. And now more than ever, during these challenging economic times, employees need mentors to guide and advise them as they navigate flattened corporate structures. Research conducted for Sun Microsystems by research company Gartner and Capital Analytics, a software company, looked at 1,000 Sun employees over a five-year period to examine the financial impact of mentoring and found that:
- 25 percent of employees in a test group who took part in the company’s mentoring program had a salary-grade change, compared with 5 percent of employees in a control group who did not participate in the program
- 28 percent of mentors in the test group had a salary grade change as opposed to just 5 percent in the control group
- Mentors were promoted six times more often than those not in the program
- Mentees were promoted five times more often than those not in the program
- Retention rates were much higher for mentees (72 percent) and mentors (69 percent) than for employees who did not participate in the mentoring program (49 percent)
According to Wikipedia, “Mentors provide their expertise to less experienced individuals to help them advance their careers, enhance their education.” In the context of the Invisible Mentor, the following quotes sum up Invisible Mentoring:
“A wise man learns by the experience of others. An ordinary man learns by his own experience. A fool learns by nobody’s experience.” Vern McLellan
“If you would know the road ahead, ask someone who has traveled it.” Chinese Proverb
“It is good to learn what to avoid by studying the misfortunes of others.” Publius Syrius
“A prudent person profits from personal experience, a wise one from the experience of others.” Joseph Collins
“There are three schoolmasters for everybody that will employ them – the senses, intelligent companions, and books.” Rev. Henry Ward Beecher
Final Thoughts: What Does Mentoring Mean?
I believe a great mentoring relationship assists the mentee to be the best he/she can be. What does mentoring mean to you? And how can Invisible Mentors work for you?
Have you read?
- Standing on the Shoulders of Giants (Part I)
- Standing on the Shoulders of Giants (Part II)
- Adventures: DIY Mentoring Program, Episode One
- Adventures in Learning: DIY Mentoring Program, Episode Two (theinvisiblementor.com)
- Adventures in Learning: DIY Mentoring Program, Episode Three (theinvisiblementor.com)
- Get the Mentoring Equation Right, Whitney Johnson