Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tips for being an effective eMentor

Over the last few days I have been engrossed in working on developing the handbook for the eMentoring project I am managing. One of the things I have been thinking about is how you can be an effective eMentor

Tips for eMentors
  • Be committed to your mentoring relationship.
  • Respond promptly to communication like emails.
  • Attend online synchronous meetings as arranged.
  • Be respectful and non-judgmental.
  • Be culturally aware which includes race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality.

Be an effective online communicator
  • Take time to read communications such as emails
  • Prepare for online meetings.
  • Responding in an appropriate way that address issues brought up by your mentee.
  • Take ‘netiquette’ into consideration.
  • Check out with your mentee if she/he understands your questions and comments.
  • Remember that online communication is different because you do not have clues from body language that would normally be picked up in a face-to-face conversation.

Supporting the mentoring relationship
  • Asking questions in a way that supports constructive reflection.
  • Do not be negative, criticize or say things that are demoralizing.
  • Support your mentee in her/his refection and learning. You must not tell your mentee what to do, or do it for him/her.
  • Your relationship should must be driven by the mentee’s needs, aims and goals.

Accepting differences
  • Accept that your mentee may have a different opinion or way of working from you.
  • Being aware of ‘power’ element in your relationship.
  • Work to ensure that you both are ‘empowered’ within the relationship.

A mentoring relationship is a partnership with you both having equal status. Accept that mentoring is not about ‘teaching’ but learning. You will learn alongside your mentee.

Is there anything else you would suggest to people who are thinking about being an eMentor?


No author. (2004). PSPGOV414A: Provide workplace mentoring. Retrieved 10 March, 2009, from http://www.ntis.gov.au/Default.aspx?/trainingpackage/PSP04/unit/PSPGOV414A

Rolfe-Flette, A. (2008). Many ways to mentor. Retrieved 10 March, 2009, from http://mentoring-works.com/many_ways_to_mentor.html

Triple Creek Associates. (2006). Mentoring guide for mentors. Retrieved 10 March, 2009, from http://www.3creek.com/resources/booklets/MentorGuide.pdf

Image: '2 & 1/2 and already a computer+junky!' machado17


Anonymous said...

But what do you do if your mentee is proposing to do something you strongly disapprove of or think immensely unwise? It would be wrong not to say something, but on the other hand the mentee might see you as judgmental or negative and the relationship might break down. How can people prepare for this, or for milder/greyer scenarios of the same sort? I can imagine prospective mentors being quite worried about this.


Rodd Lucier said...

I'm working on an e-mentor program with online teachers here in Ontario Canada. I'm very happy to see that you've licensed your work for sharing via Creative Commons, as many of the tips you provide will come in very handy.

I'll be sure to attribute the work!

Thank you!


Sarah Stewart said...

Hi Dot

This is an important issue & I think it needs to be discussed carefully at the beginning of the relationship so that 'rules' are put in place. We will be providing training for mentors about this, and providing ongoing support so mentors have someone to discuss these sorts of issues as they crop up.


Thanks for that, Rodd. I will drop you a line at some time because I would love to find out how you are approaching your project.