In Greek mythology, Mentor acted as wise guide and advisor to help Odysseus’ infant son Telemachus on his journey into adulthood while Odysseus was away fighting in the Trojan War. Mentoring has evolved as a means for individuals to share their knowledge with and encourage those who are less experienced (the mentee), enabling them to gain confidence in their roles. The mentoring process is confidential. It offers the support and understanding of someone who has experienced the role themselves, who has no hidden agenda, and with whom it is safe to share thoughts and concerns. The mentor focuses on the interests of the mentee and can act as a ‘critical friend’.
From the start the boundaries of the relationship need to be agreed, and the expectations of the mentee explored, as well as the outcomes anticipated. Agreement should also be reached on an availability framework, and timeframe – open ended or with a completion date.
Some members of EUConsult offer mentoring in their areas of specialism to fellow members. Members are welcome to contact a consultant on the list (available from firstname.lastname@example.org) with the aim of exploring the possibility of their setting up a mentoring arrangement.