Online mentoring: what is it?
Online mentoring is a great way to facilitate mentoring relationships where distance might have otherwise been a problem.
Online or e-mentoring is a mentoring relationship facilitated using digital communication tools such as telephone, Skype and email rather than or in addition to face-to-face meetings.
The benefit of online mentoring is that the mentee doesn’t need to be in the same room as the mentor. This allows both parties more flexibility in the relationship and opens up the mentee to a larger market of mentors to work with.
An example of this might be the owner of a small plumbing business wanting a mentor with industry experience. If he were to sought a mentor locally he might find himself working with a competitor. Whereas, online mentoring opens the small business owner up to working with a mentor from a different region, state or country.
The downside of working remotely is not being able to pick up on visual or social queues through non-visual mediums like email and telephone. However, tools like Skype minimise this problem and allow real-time communications with a visual component.
The Kindred platform intends to offer and encourage online mentoring by way of providing mentoring products that use email and Skype in additional to telephone and face-to-face.