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  Title Requirements for the format of scientific articles submitted for publication in Pipeline Science and Technology
  Author(s) Michelle Unger and Dr Phil Hopkins  
  Abstract MOST SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE HAVE benefitted from ‘mentoring’, and the benefits (to an individual or a business) of mentoring are widely recognized.

The word ‘mentoring’ comes from a Greek word meaning ‘enduring’, and has its origins in Homer’s poem, the Odyssey. Odysseus (Ulysses) entrusted Mentor (Athena, goddess of war and wisdom) with the care and education of his son, Telemachus. Thus, traditional mentoring emerged as a relationship with an older, wiser, and/or more experienced person. This person functions as a wise teacher and confidante, coaching, inspiring, protecting, and helping the mentee.

Last century, mentoring was usually carried out in business within a management chain, when someone in the chain acted as a mentor. Today, this ‘chain’ often does not exist, and true mentoring has slowly disappeared in many organisations.

Mentoring in the 21st century means giving ‘wise counsel’, and involves knowledge guidance and advice, based on experience. It can be used to develop, nurture and grow staff. It is as essential today as it was in the past, particularly in helping staff develop competencies, but many companies do not actively promote it, and many ‘older, wiser’ staff do not have the time to mentor. This is unfortunate… mentoring may be the best staff development tool we have.

This paper is a guide to mentoring. It explains the meaning of ‘mentoring, ‘mentor’ and ‘mentee’, and shows that mentoring involves transferring knowledge. Mentoring relies on a mentor using his/her ‘wisdom’ to direct a mentee, and is focussed on the individual, not the task.

The paper ends by outlining a mentoring process for use in organisations.

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