In today’s connected world, mentoring for leadership and career development is easier than you might think. With collaboration and video conferencing tools, you can build relationships across the globe and develop your career from the comfort of your own home. Don’t get me wrong; meeting in person is always preferred. But, could you mentor remotely? Of course! Let me show you. Follow these five steps to launch your distance mentoring relationships into the cybersphere.
1. Incorporate Google tools in your mentoring work plan
From Google Hangouts to Google+, the search-engine super star has many gizmos that are perfect for mentoring. If you haven’t joined Google+, I highly recommend that you do so quickly. In addition, use Google Drive to share and collaborate on documents, projects and presentations with your mentors or mentees. It’s easy and makes working together simple and cooperative.
2. Create a LinkedIn group
With LinkedIn, you can produce and share content with large groups of people. But what about sharing content with a select few? The platform allows you to leverage groups to build a safe space to share experiences and to network.
3. Adopt a video conferencing tool
Meeting face-to-face is such an important part of building relationship. Now we have technology that can help. From iMeet to Fuze, there are many conferencing services available. With the right tool, you can connect with your mentees (or mentors) from anywhere and even maintain your meeting schedule. So, when you’re working on the road or traveling with your family, check in with your mentor and continue to build your relationship via video. If you have an iPhone, you can Facetime in to meetings and touch base with your mentees with the click of a button.
4. Use Twitter to connect
I expect my mentees to continuously grow their careers and develop as people. When I can’t see my mentees, or I have to miss a meeting, Twitter allows me to stay in touch. You can use the platform to check in, comment on work or add your two cents to project or personal development. Want to send a private message? The platform offers that function as well. Don’t fret the 140-character limit; it can be a blessing — trust me.
5. Encourage your mentees to use social media
Social media is an excellent place to build a professional network, find a mentor and nourish your relationships — use it. You should use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest to share your ideas and build a community of people that share your interests. The world has never been more connected, so get out there and meet people.
As you can see, there are many tools out there to help you stay connected and continue to build your professional relationships. It’s up to you to use them.
If you have questions, contact us. We’re here to help you.