Great mentors provide just the right advice or perspective to help you navigate political landmines and do so consistently, often on a moment’s notice. They put your needs before their own, always willing to pick up the phone or respond to your email even if they’re swamped with their own work. So why does their greatness cause potential problems for you as a mentee?
Posts Tagged 'mentoring'
Tags: career advice, mentoring, mentors, workplace tips
Fast Company Blog Post: Building a Better Mentor Relationship – Virtual Connections or Actual Face Time?Published January 19, 2010 workplace tips 4 Comments
Tags: Andrea Rice, career advice, Gen Y, GottaMentor.com, mentoring
A few weeks ago, I was asked to speak to a group outplaced Wall Street Executives via teleconference and that’s where I first crossed paths with Andrea Rice, co-founder and President of Gotta Mentor. After the session, we exchanged a few emails and that’s when we got on the topic of the pros and cons of face-to-face versus virtual mentoring. And like any exchange of ideas you’ll find on your run-of-the-mill a cable news network, we decided to explore the subject point, counter-point style. Now on to the debate…
Andrea: Face-to-face mentoring is so old school. In the digital age, information, including career advice, can be disseminated so much more freely online. Why meet with one gray-haired person infrequently to get one perspective, when you can tap into a global knowledgebase and engage multiple people and get multiple opinions so easily?
Shawn: Making meaningful connections with a mentor is next to impossible via email. Instead of being one of the small number of in-person meetings he or she might have on a given day, it’s more than likely you’re email could get swept up with the hundreds of others in his or her inbox, never to be seen again. I’ll take the face-to-face meeting with a mentor any day of the week.
Andrea: I agree with you in part. You’ll benefit much more from a face-to-face with someone who knows you really well and is willing to really spend time with you, but honestly, so few people have that kind of person in their life. Also, most of the time you really just want a specific question answered, not 30 minutes of questions. What email, search engines, blogs, and community-oriented websites offer is access to so many more people who can be tremendous resources for specific questions you have. If you have a particular question, you can bet that lots of other people have had that question as well. Pose that question on the right website or email the question to 5 people at 11pm and by 7 am the next day you’ll have 3 answers. You won’t get your mentor to answer the phone or the door at 11…