User Guides

How to Make Remote Mentoring Work

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Remote mentoring can be just as successful as in-person mentoring. Here are some tips for successful remote mentoring.

  1. Choose a venue that is private - where your conversation cannot be overheard. Don’t conduct a mentoring session from your desk in an open office. Both mentoring partners should be able to  talk frankly and openly and have privacy.
  1. Logistics - Set a date and time. Schedule a meeting right on MentorCloud with Sessions. Ensure both your calendars have been uploaded and that the correct time zones have been chosen. You can also discuss and select your preferred video conferencing tool. Have a light facing you, rather than behind you, so your mentoring partner can see your face. Turn your camera on. 
  1. Virtual platform - Become familiar with the functionality of the MentorCloud platform and the preferred video conferencing tool. Use Tasks, Goals and Notes tab on MentorCloud as well as the chat option in your video conferencing tool. Share your screen to review tasks and goals together. Do you both have enough bandwidth to connect virtually?
  1. Set ground rules - How do you feel about  being on mute? What happens with confidentiality if someone walks into the room? If one of you is at home, how will you address distractions such as the doorbell ringing or dog barking? 
  1. Stay focused -  As much as possible, eliminate distractions. Silence or switch you off your phone. Close your email and any other work that may be open.
  1. Get to know each other first  - Don’t jump immediately into mentoring. Instead, find out things about each other. If there are cultural differences, discuss what is socially acceptable, or not, for your meetings.
  1. Actively listen - Pay attention. Show you are listening by looking into the camera, nodding your head and giving an affirmative cue. Try not to interrupt or talk over each other.

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Up Next

How to Build a Relationship with Your Mentor

Good communication skills support strong mentoring relationships. 
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2 mins

Time you spend building rapport with your mentor will pay you back with deeper conversations and more meaningful mentoring. 

Here are the key components you need to build the relationship -

1. Confidentiality is the cornerstone of a mentoring relationship and essential for both you and your mentor.
Do not discuss anything your mentor shares with you outside of your meeting unless you get permission to do so. You can write private messages by going into a current Mentorship and clicking on the Messages tab – other mentors and mentees can’t see these interactions.

2. Building rapport and trust are essential. Here are some ways you can build trust:

  • Spend the first meeting getting to know each other. Don’t dive into problems and solutions too soon. 
  • Live up to your commitments. Keep track of your goals, tasks and notes in the Mentoring Relationship.
  • Be prepared to be vulnerable. Your mentor is not there to judge you.
  • Ask for and be open to frank feedback even when it’s uncomfortable to hear. 

3. Good communication skills support strong mentoring relationships. 

Sync your calendars so it’s easier to schedule meetings and avoid conflicts. Simply go to “Settings”, then click on “General Preferences” and “Connect Calendar” to connect with your desired calendar account.

It is also important to be conscious of how you’re communicating with your mentor, both verbally and non-verbally.

  • Maintain an open and relaxed posture. Turn your body towards your mentor.
  • Make eye contact if it is culturally acceptable.
  • Nod or make small affirmations to show you are actively listening. 
  • Ask questions. 

Maintaining confidentiality, building rapport and using effective interpersonal communication skills will help you build a strong relationship with your mentor so both of you benefit from the experience.