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