Mentoring is a powerful and effective tool. Being able to connect across geographies is critical to the success of most companies. Having a trusting and personal connection is imperative for a successful mentorship relationship.
However, what do you do if you work and live in Austin, Texas, but your mentor resides in Toronto, Ontario? How do you connect with them on a personal level?
This is when using technology can help your mentoring program succeed by expanding the program’s reach. Mentoring & Technology are companions, not replacements for each other. When used in the correct balance, this duo can provide an exceptional experience for the mentor, the mentee and the company as a whole.
Here are some of the most common ways to make mentoring and technology work well together:
Using live video can bring in that personal connection, even if you are countries apart. It also allows for eye contact as well as puts a “face” to the name of the person you have been speaking to. Video applications (such as: Google Hangouts, Skype, Zoom, Facetime, etc) can also help provide live action feedback without having to wait for an email or a phone call to come in. Using video during a mentorship can boost the success rate of your program.
Chat on the Phone
If video is not always a viable option, use the phone! It can be just as personal as a video chat. Hearing each other speak will allow you to listen to tone, nuances and other things that can be missed or misunderstood with email. You can still boost your confidence, communication and public speaking skills by chatting on the phone. It’s also faster than waiting for an email to come into your inbox. Phone calls allow for “in the moment” coaching from a mentor’s perspective as well.
This is the ultimate way to combine effective mentoring techniques with a state of the art mentoring platform. eMentoring usually consists of individuals and/or groups that log into a centralized system to heighten their mentoring experience. You don’t have to be in the same time zone, let alone the same country! Many eMentoring programs include prompts, reading material and discussion starters that shape the basis of the program. In some instances, the solution can also incorporate video and phone calls into the program. This is great for companies that are geographically dispersed, have remote teams or just want to enhance their mentorship programs.
No matter how you look at it, integrating technology & mentoring are critical pieces to the puzzle to make the most of a mentoring program.