Tips on Virtual Mentoring Relationships
Make your relationship as productive as possible.
- Work hard to give a sense of yourself; share things that are important to you both at school/work and in your personal life.
- Frequency of contact is important, especially in the first few months. It will help you move beyond small talk and show that you want to discuss a variety of issues.
- Electronic messages can be supplemented with phone calls or video chats whenever you feel it is important to talk. Talking will definitely will add a new dimension to your relationship.
- Be sure to ask questions and initiative conversations as well as just responding. Start another topic if a discussion seems to be dying out. Give feedback.
- Show enthusiasm. This means giving thoughtful answers, thanking your mentoring partner for sharing ideas, giving feedback, and telling him or her that you're enjoying the experience.
- If you don't hear from your mentoring partner, send a message asking sharing what you've been doing.
- Keep copies of all conversations. This will help you evaluate the experience and will enable you to go back and follow up on earlier discussions.
- Be aware of mirroring! If you write short, quick answers, you are more likely to receive responses with short answers. Be open and go into more depth.
- Don't feel you have to start a new conversation each time; tell your mentor what has happened since your last conversation.
- If you don't have time for a thoughtful reply, send a quick note saying when you will be able to respond.
If your mentor seems unresponsive or you are having another problem, contact