What is mentorship?

The term mentorship is derived from Homer’s Odyssey. Mentor was the name of the person Odysseus tasked to teach his son Telemachus when he left for the Trojan War in the eighth century BC. Linked to this, the traditional view of mentorship is that of a wise, more experienced person acting as an advisor to someone younger and less experienced.

However, we live in very different times, and at the National Mentorship Movement we believe the days are past of mentees following the instructions of the wisened mentor who is set on moulding a “mini-me”. In our view, great mentoring relationships are built on trust, respect, and an equitable power structure built through the desire and willingness of both parties to be open to learning from each other.

At National Mentorship Movement, we define mentorship as a balanced relationship made up of the what, the why and the how:

What: Mentorship is a partnership and relationship between two (or more) people

Why:   to achieve mutually agreed-upon goals

How:   through the reciprocal sharing of knowledge, experience and wisdom.