A mentor helps one learn and grow faster. Mentoring describes the transmission of knowledge, the psychosocial support to work and career issues, between a person who is considered to have a greater relevant knowledge, or experience, and a person considered to have less. The mentor can help you clarify your goals and organize a plan to achieve them, by sharing with you the experiences and knowledge he has acquired.
Mentoring is more than just answering questions, or occasional assistance. It is a continuous dialogue relationship and learning which tends to have four key elements: improving performance, career development, counselling and knowledge exchange.
For example, a trainee may agree to work with a mentor for a year or until he achieves a specific goal. After reaching the time limit or achieving the goal, the terms can be renegotiated. The mentor and the student may decide to continue to work together, especially if the relationship was productive and helpful for both parties.
My PhD on exercise in health sciences and a vast clinical experience of 20 years in major Health Institutions of Greece and abroad, but also the Certification from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist, with worldwide recognition of which I am very proud and I am probably the only one in Greece who has it, gives me the credentials but also the deeper need to pass on part of my knowledge and experience to younger colleagues.
I once read an interesting view on mentoring and I submit it:
“…..I use my experience as a stepping stone for you to climb a little easier, a little higher. Let’s not rediscover the wheel, if there is no reason.”
Mentoring is aimed for colleagues who are just starting out and are lacking experience:
• in designing an appropriate exercise program for their trainee
• in achieving professional and career goals
• in the management of their students
• in managing their time
• in their research career
• in public appearances such as conferences, television, etc.