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Why Is Mentoring Support Important?
Mentor – Mentee Relationship
Dr Đorđe Krivokapić, Founder of SHARE Foundation and Lecturer at Faculty of Organisational Sciences
Mentor – Mentee Relationship
The origin of mentoring dates back to Ancient Greece, when young protégés acquired significant spiritual, social and personal values and skills with the support of their tutors. In the systems within which the institutions for collecting, processing and conveying knowledge are not sufficiently strong, the role of a mentor is of decisive importance in the development of individuals. Professional development is in many ways conditioned by the relationship with a mentor, his/her pedagogical skill, social networks and accumulated expertise.

Nevertheless, the situation has not drastically changed even in the age of free access to knowledge, wherein the institutions which convey knowledge exist in the large variety of formats – ranging from traditional academy, through professional courses to online academies and you tube tutorials. The role of a mentor has remained equally significant. Even in a contemporary academic setting, the work with a mentor represents a peak of education process which is crowned by defended thesis, behind which both the candidate and the mentor himself equally stand.

A mentor is often even more than a parent and a teacher, who are predetermined by nature and society. The selection of a mentor depends of the free will of a mentee who relies on the mentor’s knowledge and authority, trying to interweave him into his or her own identity. The relationship between a mentor and a mentee can evolve in time into a collective which is recognized by the community. Then, individual identities are much closer tied, creating a common reputation, and their destinies are often interconnected in many ways.

The success of a mentorship relation is based on a good synergy of energy and experience, as well as on the balance of values. If a mentee cannot find his/her moral role model in the mentor, an efficient transfer of knowledge and skills will not render wanted results either.

However, a mentor cannot be the leader in relation to a mentee. The success of the relationship does not involve the transformation of a mentee in accordance with the ambitions of the experienced and accomplished mentor, but rather the identification of strategic direction of development based on the aspirations and capacities of the mentee in the development process. Thus, the role of a mentor is to identify and release the potentials of a mentee, to open up the outlooks for him which the mentee cannot see from the position he/she is in, and finally to make him confident to make decisions independently and route his/her future development and professional path.

Mentees must be aware that by acquiring a mentor they received two additional eyes that follow them and take care of them. They obtained shoulders they can lean on and a head they can burden with tough dilemmas. Nevertheless, they have also obtained a heart that they should not let down, the heart that will beat for them and worry that they do not violate the ethics of the professional occupation, the doors of which they have made ajar for them.
Dr Đorđe Krivokapić,
Founder of SHARE Foundation and Lecturer at Faculty of Organisational Sciences