During the COVID-19 times, our Mentoring Program for women shifted its mentoring sessions online. That’s why our Mentoring Program Manager Kelly Stary put together some useful tips on how to make the remote mentoring relationship work.
Decide on the communication channel
Communication will be the most important aspect of your mentoring partnership, especially since you won’t be meeting face to face! You will want to utilize the amazing tools online to make sure you are always “connected” with your mentee/mentor.
- Written communication: Use Slack channel, email, text, or other forms of written communication to set up meetings, but not as your primary form of mentorship. Answering a few basic and quick questions is reasonable, but it’s best to jump on a video call for your actual mentoring sessions.
- Video communication: There are a plethora of options for video calls. Whether you choose WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, or another platform, set aside an hour every other week to talk to your mentoring partner via video chat. This will be your most valuable tool to help you build rapport and better understand each others’ communication styles, especially if you are just starting on your mentorship journey.
It’s important at the very onset of your mentoring partnership to ask your mentor or mentee what they prefer when it comes to both written and video communication channels; this way, you’re not bombarding one another on multiple platforms, which can be maddening! Decide at the beginning of your relationship what tools you’ll be using.
Schedule your calls ahead
Keeping momentum is important. Schedule your calls at the beginning of the program and try your best to stick to that plan. Things will always come up, you have careers and sometimes even families. Having a definite schedule for the call every two weeks will help you stick to it.
Prepare in advance
It helps to agree on the topic over email or slack in advance. This allows both you and your mentee to prepare and utilize each other’s time wisely. An email from the mentee covering their thoughts for the session beforehand can also help prepare both of you and allow you to go deeper.
Make a list of action items
As you chat with your mentoring partner, keep a note of the action items coming out of your conversations. Did your mentor ask you to send a portfolio of your work? Did your mentee ask you for an online course you’ve taken and recommended? Write these action items down so you don’t forget! If you are an existing Femme Palette mentee, use your Femme Palette’s working document!
Do you feel like you are stuck in your career? Would you like to switch careers? Would you want to take on more responsibilities at work and get promoted? The mentors of the Femme Palette mentoring program can help you with that! Learn more about the 6 months personalized program here.