In Chapter 1 you have learnt about a generic working description of coaching and mentoring, as a developmental process of support offered to an individual, which results in action. I hope that this has been enough to get you started in your exploration. Against the background of our discoveries so far, the present chapter provides a critical review of the definitions of coaching psychology, coaching, mentoring and learning, which come from different traditions. A succinct definition of a universal approach to the psychology of coaching, mentoring and learning will be given at the end.
The word ‘mentor’ comes from a character in Greek mythology portrayed in Homer’s Odyssey: Mentor. Mentor was actually Athena, the goddess of wisdom, in disguise, entrusted to educate Telemachus, the son of Odysseus. In China, one would regard Confucius as the first mentor (see Figure 4.1).
The traditional image of a mentor perpetrated the misconception that mentors are usually more mature and experienced people, who pass on their knowledge and skills to help their protégés up the corporate ladder. This notion fixes the roles into a learner–teacher hierarchy and counters our value of equality and the idea that the process is mentee-driven.
More recent historical literature reviews (e.g. Louis Antonine de ...