In today's fast-paced world, virtual mentorship is becoming increasingly popular. So how can businesses make it work?
The good news is that, in certain cases, virtual mentoring can be even more successful than face-to-face mentoring. In addition, virtual mentoring is more than just a temporary solution, thanks to the simplicity of mentoring software platforms and the fact that the majority of the public has become accustomed to video chatting.
Challenges of Virtual Mentoring and How to Overcome Them
Naturally, many of the problems in traditional mentoring programs and relationships, along with digital-specific hurdles, still exist. Here's how to prepare and make it work:
Diffcult to make a connection virtually
It’s more difficult to form a connection on a computer screen than to meet someone in person, no matter how advanced the technology. Those who rely primarily on body language while getting to know someone may struggle or take longer.
Encourage mentorship sessions to be held on video calls rather than voice calls as much as feasible to make it work. You may also encourage icebreaker activities to assist mentors and mentees get to know one another faster.
Feelings of isolation and lack of community
Many mentoring programs foster a sense of community, which is difficult to do in the virtual environment.
Schedule a webinar for the participants when you launch the program to make it work. This will develop a sense of belonging among participants and make them feel like they're a part of something.
When the chemistry isn’t there
A mentor and mentee may not always get along. This can be amplified in a virtual setting, as awkward silences worsen it over a video call.
So to make it work, a mentoring pair should be encouraged to reflect on why they believe the chemistry is absent since this is an excellent self-awareness exercise.
You face technical errors such as a mentor freezing mid-advice or a mentee getting cut off while discussing a challenging topic can disrupt the flow and upset both parties.
And to make it work, mentoring pairs should come up with contingency measures if one of their connections breaks down, such as switching to mobile. This will prevent the discussion from being overly disrupted.
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