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Coaching and Mentoring Behind every successful person there is one elementary truth Somewhere some way someone cared about their growth and development Both coaching and mentoring are proving to be powerful aids to personal and organizational change and development If you were the King of Ithaca and had to leave your family to fight in a war that was going to last 10 years who would you want to guide your children in your absence More than 4000 years ago Odysseus faced this decision and he asked his friend Mentor to guide his son Telemachus while Odysseus led the Greeks to victory in the Trojan War Thinking of a mentor might conjure up visions of a white bearded wise man in flowing robes and sandals or Telemachus adviser in Homers Odyssey Today the term mentor usually means a more-experienced person who acts as a guide or model for a less-experienced person Mentors can often be found on the job but they can also be relatives older friends teachers and others we encounter in our lives Mentoring typically takes place in an informal way and often neither the mentor nor the person being mentored typically called the protege is completely aware that a lasting influence is in progress Recognizing the important role mentors have in the lives of successful people has led educators social service organizations and corporations to establish more formalized mentor programs Mentor connections have been created to orient new employees foster executive development assist in career advancement improve job performance lower employee turnover enhance creativity and increase leadership potential Question What do driving a car selling a computer riding a bike managing others and playing tennis have in common Answer Theyre all skills we acquire through practice instruction and hands-on coaching In fact this is how we become proficient at any skill or task If your goal is to help other people improve their proficiency
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