Business Mentoring Matters

MentorTwit! MentorFacebook! MentorConstant Contact!

Posted on Mon, Jan, 24, 2011

There is a contradiction going on in mentoring these days brought about my modern technology. 

A true mentoring relationship involves having ongoing, regular contact twice a month with a mentoree generally for a period of 1 to 1 1/2 hours per session.  In a busy mentor's workday, this is a significant amount of time, especially if the mentor has more than one mentoree.  Here is where modern technology contradicts that guideline:

"If I can contact my mentor in various ways such as by twitting him/her or adding him/her to my Facebook account, doesn't that make for a more effective relationship?"

Actually, I don't think so.  There are two problems with this approach:

1.  If my mentor and I are actually meeting two times a month, that's 3 solid hours of mentor time.  Do we really want to burden mentors with the expectation to communicate more frequently via technology?

2.  The more important problem is that by twitting or using Facebook or similar communication tools we can change the very nature of mentoring from being a deep, interpersonal and transformational relationship to one reduced to quick, superficial discussions. 

It is not to be missed that what researchers are discovering is that the more technologies there are to communicate the less personal we become because these technologies, though valuable in their own way, are not meant to replace actual, meaningful relationships.

So, if you're in a mentoring relationship, focus more on having that quality time with your partner and less on the convenience of technology.  You'll got more value out of the old fashion method of actually sitting down and having a meaningful conversation!  Sometimes new is not always better!

Tags: Mentoring Programs