Would someone who is not a professional but knows a subject (such as automotive repair) in depth and offers advice and hands-on assistance with repair procedures be considered a mentor? Is the act of giving advice in this context mentoring?

  • I would say consulting. I always think of professional when I hear mentoring. – speedyGonzales Aug 20 '13 at 7:52
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    @speedyGonzales On what basis do you suggest 'mentoring' is always professional? To me, mentoring could well be done by a friend or acquaintance, and be informal and free of charge. 'Consulting' sounds more professional to me, and also more likely to be paid for, especially as 'Consultant' normally refers to a paid professional. – TrevorD Aug 20 '13 at 10:45
  • Why would you think not? Mentor: adviser - preceptor - monitor - counselor - tutor. What has a professional to do with that? – Kris Aug 21 '13 at 6:24

Mentoring refers to the passing on of knowledge and expertise over a long period.

The mentor might be a professional, but they also might not. Likewise the relationship between the mentor and the protégé might be within a professional context, but again it might not.

The skill the training is in might not even be one that is ever professional; people often mentor in hobbies, sports and other avocations that don't have a professional structure.

  • True. However, this is GR! – Kris Aug 21 '13 at 6:24
  • OK, so as I understand it now, for a person to call themselves a "mentor" or be "mentoring" someone, the person is doing more than giving advise on an occasion or two. It's over a long period of time to the same person. Using automotive repair, a person who instructs someone on a repair procedure or walks them through it on the phone or chat cannot be considered a mentor if it's not a recurring instruction or guidance? – Francisco Ascaso Aug 23 '13 at 19:07

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