How does online mentoring work?
Before delving into the nitty-gritty of online mentoring, let us first understand the meaning-online mentoring or e-mentoring. It means providing a guided mentoring relationship using an online medium. The participants can communicate with the mentor whenever required as it eliminates the need to be in the same physical location. That said, the human element of a physical interaction is still not compromised. The mentee and the mentor can use the opportunity to form a warm professional bond just like in a real life scenario.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, people have become acquainted with using online platforms like Zoom, Slack, Google Hangouts, etc. Students are venturing into online coaching and taking advantage of the fact that the world is in their pockets. If they’re looking for a career coach for a career change, they may take up several online courses to upskill. Read on to learn how online mentoring works and how it can help you make a suitable career decision.
Benefits of online mentoring
Here are some specific benefits of e-mentoring:
- Flexible meetings
No, you don’t have to travel to a place to meet your mentor. With virtual meetings, it is much easier to fit in meetings amidst the rest of your busy schedule. Pick up the phone or grab your laptop at the convenient stipulated time and have an insightful session with your mentor! This flexibility allows more people to look forward to one-to-one mentoring with little to no restraints on location or transportation.
- Improves matching criteria
With online mentorship, people have more access to many participants from various locations and backgrounds. It enables people to learn about new cultures and ideas, leading to a greater diversity of innovation and development.
- Less social pressure
Meeting new people face to face can be difficult for some mentees and initially induce anxiety. So virtual mentoring can provide you with the benefit of receiving mentoring in your own space.
- On demand
Online mode empowers mentees to have an on-demand discussion with respective mentors where they can schedule a date and time for a discussion that is convenient for both mentee and mentor.
Different types of online mentoring
The following are some types of e-mentoring:
- One-on-one mentoring
It is a traditional mentoring model, where one mentor and one mentee agree to enter a mentoring relationship to help improve the mentee and achieve their goals. While the primary focus is on the mentee but it does come with a bonus for mentor as well. It allows mentors to develop their leadership skills, learn from their mentee and have a sense of satisfaction from supporting someone in their career or providing career change coaching.
- Peer mentoring
Similar to one-on-one mentoring, peer mentoring is when two people come together in a mentoring relationship, but both are from an equal job level or age range. They may take turns functioning as ‘mentor’ and ‘mentee’ and organize sessions fluidly. They share experiences and expertise, learn together and take accountability for the sessions.
- Group Mentoring
This mentoring involves one mentor working with several mentees in a group. It helps reach and impact more mentees in a shorter period than traditional mentoring. It is an effective way of upskilling groups and retaining knowledge, helps to improve every participant’s teamwork skills and allows them to learn from each other as well.
How does online mentoring work?
Now that you get the gist of online mentoring, how does it actually work? A mentoring program might be hard to track, and mentor-mentee relations can fade away without proper support. So it’s best to take the help of a dedicated mentoring website like Nordsta to manage a program. Mentors and mentees are matched using an algorithm (reducing the chance of forming a bias), all mentoring activities are tracked, and everything is effortlessly managed in one place.
If participants are looking for a distinguished website, they can join the platform, make a profile and meet their new mentor. Once the sessions start, the mentoring platform will track how frequently sessions take place and gather feedback from the participants. It makes virtual mentoring easy to implement and manage.
Every coin has two sides, so there are a few challenges for online mentoring too. But one can overcome them with a few measures.
- Difficulty to forming a connection
Virtual mentoring might be a positive for some people’s personalities, but it could also be a disadvantage for others. Those who value body language in getting to know somebody may struggle initially.
Solution: Encourage mentoring sessions to be on video calls rather than voice calls as much as possible. Mentoring is all about forming a trusting relationship, so being able to see each other is a huge part of that.
- Technical difficulties
Most of the time, technology is not in our hands. So the possibility of technical difficulties is one of the riskiest things about virtual or online mentoring. A mentor freezing mid-advice or a mentee getting cut off while discussing something can disrupt the flow of the conversation and frustrate both parties.
Solution: If you have fluctuating WiFi or your computer keeps hanging, you should do everything you can to stabilize the connection before the session. Set up device backup plans such as taking it on to mobile. This will help get back on track quickly and ease the disturbance caused.
If you have any issues, talk it out. Communication is key. You may have shorter meetings more frequently or use digital chat. Not every interaction between mentor and mentee requires a video meeting or phone call. You can answer questions or ask for updates via messages, if available. Or you may even use popular platforms like LinkedIn- a professional networking site.
With advancing times, technology has become more accessible and convenient for many people. There are many online coaching available for students as well as working professionals looking for a career coach for mid-career change.
Fulfill all your online mentoring needs at Nordsta! Here, you can advance in your career with one-to-one mentoring from some of the brightest minds who are growth leaders in their domains. It is different from generic online coaching and tailored to your specific needs and preferences. Get experiential insights from mentors, enhance your network and transform your career with online mentoring at Nordsta!