Though the actual Mentor in the story is a somewhat ineffective old man, the goddess Athena takes on his appearance in order to guide young Telemachus in his time of difficulty.Historically significant systems of mentorship include the guru–disciple tradition practiced in Hinduism and Buddhism, Elders, the discipleship system practiced by Rabbinical Judaism and the Christian church, and apprenticing under the medieval guild system.In 1970 these terms were not in the general American vocabulary; by the mid-1990s they had become part of everyday speech.The European Mentoring and Coaching Council, also called the EMCC, is the leading global body in terms of creating and maintaining a range of industry standard frameworks, rules and processes across the mentoring and related supervision and coaching fields e.g. Different techniques may be used by mentors according to the situation and the mindset of the mentee, and the techniques used in modern organizations can be found in ancient education systems, from the Socratic technique of harvesting to the accompaniment method of learning used in the apprenticeship of itinerant cathedral builders during the Middle Ages.William Blake's watercolor of "Age teaching youth", a Romantic representation of mentorship.
There are different mentors who may have different strengths.
It is a learning and development partnership between someone with vast experience and someone who wants to learn.
Mentorship experience and relationship structure affect the "amount of psychosocial support, career guidance, role modeling, and communication that occurs in the mentoring relationships in which the protégés and mentors engaged." Mentoring is a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career, or professional development; mentoring entails informal communication, usually face-to-face and during a sustained period of time, between a person who is perceived to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom, or experience (the mentor) and a person who is perceived to have less (the protégé)".
While formal mentoring systems contain numerous structural and guidance elements, they still typically allow the mentor and mentee to have an active role in choosing who they want to work with.
Formal mentoring programs which simply assign mentors to mentees without giving these individuals a say have not performed well.