Mentoring Interactions

Defining the type of interactions within the structure of the mentoring program will help participants understand how much time is required and what level of interaction they should expect from the program. Consider using a combination of these types of interactions to strengthen the relationship between mentor(s) and mentee(s).

Face-to-Face

  • Pros:
    • Develops the strongest mentor-mentee relationship
    • Enables participants to communicate verbally and non-verbally
  • Cons:
    • Requires a longer time commitment to account for travel time
    • Requires compatible schedules

Telephone

  • Pros:
    • Supports a strong interpersonal relationship between mentor-mentee
    • Requires less travel time and may be easier to manage with busy schedules
  • Cons:
    • Presents environmental distractions
    • Requires alternative planning for bad telephone connections, dropped calls or insufficient cellular service
    • Reduces the ability to communicate and interpret both verbal and non-verbal communications

Email

  • Pros:
    • Enables a direct line of communication at convenient times for all participants, thus no need to coordinate schedules
    • Creates a forum for very targeted discussions
    • Increases the accessibility of mentoring interactions from a multitude of locations
    • Adapts easily to one-to-one (1:1) or group mentoring
    • Enables participants to save discussions for future reference
  • Cons:
    • Reduces personal approach and may take longer to develop a strong relationship
    • Increases opportunities to misinterpret messages communicated exclusively through text
    • Heightens uncertainty about timeliness of response and scope of mentor-mentee relationship

Online/Social Networking

  • Pros:
    • Offers a direct line of communication at convenient times for all participants
    • Creates a forum for very targeted discussions
    • Adapts easily to one-to-one (1:1) or group mentoring
    • Easy access regardless of participant's location
    • Develops strong group dynamics, team building, organizational culture and group loyalty
  • Cons:
    • Reduces personal approach and may take longer to develop strong relationships between mentors and mentees
    • Increases opportunities to misinterpret messages communicated exclusively through text
    • Excludes possible participants who have less-advanced technical skills
    • Requires a dedicated Mentor Champion or designated leader to manage social networking site, monitor discussion and participation, which can be time consuming and technically advanced

 

Connect & Engage