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

What to do in a Mentoring Meeting as a Mentee

Mentoring works best with a structure.
2 mins

Mentoring works best with a structure. After having mentored thousands of people across many countries, we’ve developed a tested structure. 

A structure will help both you and your mentor make your meetings more productive. Discuss the format with your mentor and ensure it suits them as well.

1. Feedback And Update (10 Minutes)

  • Do a time check. “We scheduled an hour for this meeting. Does that still work for you?”
  • Describe your progress-to-date.
  • Keep track of the time.

2.Discussion (30 minutes)

Spend most of your time on the Discussion. Your mentor may ask questions to help you think more deeply about your options. Don’t just ask for advice straight away; explore the possibilities. This is your time to have an in-depth discussion. After you’ve thought through the options, you can ask your mentor to share their experiences and advice. 

3. Close (20 minutes)

Review your tasks and goals with new timelines. Make edits if necessary.

  • Discuss each action. Do you understand them?
  • Do a reality check. Is your plan doable given other constraints? Update your goals to be realistic.
  • Determine when and where you will meet next. Set up a recurring meeting if you mutually agree on a time that works for both of you. Make sure this is in both of your calendars. Set an agenda, sync your Calendars, select your preferred video conferencing tool or choose a location for meetings.
  • Thank your mentor.