So, I guess “disciple” is right out, huh?
Actually, I’ve always preferred the term “protégé” – it’s a complimentary term. Unfortunately, though I do understand that with today’s business relationships, where it can become topsy-turvy when a junior expert mentors a senior learner and it seems the terminology can be demeaning, the players in these partnerships need to understand that the terms are not meant in any condescending manner. I believe that every day is a learning day, and I hope to be learning something new right up into my nineties. I will have no problem being someone’s mentee/mentoree, trainee, acolyte, or student – even if that person is twenty-three years old, or twelve, for that matter.
I think another distinction we have in today’s work-force is that we no longer have really long-term mentor/trainee relationships – we instead have different people to whom we turn to learn different things, and in turn, we are teachers in our own right for those areas in which we have the expert knowledge.
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