Key things to keep in mind when mentoring virtually:
- Just like an in-person meeting, keep to commitments. Watch for the slippery slope of cancellations. Like in person meetings, keep to time as well.
- Use technology to your advantage – Where possible, use streaming services so you can see each other. This helps to boost connection and avoid misunderstandings. approximately 55% of our message is conveyed by body language which is lost when we are only on the phone. Can you host your zoom calls on skype or zoom so you can see each other?
- Have an agenda, or an anchoring theme for the meeting. This can keep you on task and focus. Some common themes mentoring partners may want to explore are:
- Important pivot points
- Networking and building relationships
- Moving career forward
- Trends in your industry
- Set some success criterion – What is the end result you are aiming for? What will make the meeting successful?
- Build in feedback loops - Make sure you check in regularly around this.
- Make changes as you go- Plans for conversations should be fluid, and revisited regularly. Many mentoring conversations find that it's useful to have a focus or anchoring theme with each of their mentoring conversations. Given the pace of change today, it shouldn't be so fixed that conversations are no longer relevant. Discuss how you will be able to create an adjustable plan together.
Leadership | Teamwork | Business Success
Author of multiple books including Effective Virtual Conversations (2017), PlanDoTrack (2019) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (2013)
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