“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants”. – Isaac Newton
No one learns in a vacuum. All great inventions and innovations by man, stemmed often from a body of knowledge built on the discoveries of predecessors, with guidance from trusted teachers and advisors. They learned from their work and were shaped by mentors. The word mentor means trusted advisor, friend, teacher and wise person. Also, an interesting fact unknown to many is that it originates from Greek mythology.
In Greek mythology, Mentor was a great friend to King Odysseus of Ithaca. When King Odysseus had to sail off to war, he left his son, Telemachus in Mentor’s care. Mentor became his guide, coach and trusted advisor, hence, the term, mentor.
Mentorship is a relationship in which a more experienced or knowledgeable person (mentor), helps to guide a less experienced or knowledgeable person (mentee). Mentors play supportive roles in their mentee’s personal development while setting high expectations for them academically, socially and in several aspects of life’s accomplishment.
3 Keys to a Successful Mentoring Experience
Curiosity: The mentee must be dedicated to learning from the mentor’s experience. Determined people are always keen to find answers to their problems. They desire next levels and search out people who can guide them to success. You must always be responsible, respectful and ready to learn from your mentors.
Dedication to Success: Both parties must be dedicated to the success of the mentoring goal. The mentor must truly desire to see the mentee succeed. There must be constant meeting or sessions for learning and tutoring.
Create Mentorship Experiences Everyday: Mentorship experiences don’t always have to be formal. Take advantage of learning opportunities and embrace them when you can. There are books and articles from successful people in your area of interest, tweet chat fora, seminars and windows to ask questions from teachers, parents and successful professionals.
Of course, the roles can be reversed and you may be required to mentor someone. This is an opportunity to transfer knowledge and skill, and aid societal development. The point in all of this is that, all successful people have benefitted from mentoring be it in a formal or informal setting, which leaves you with the onus of seeking such relationships for yourself today.