Mentoring during the pandemic
January is National Mentoring Month and we have come to realise, with the effects of the pandemic, mentoring matters more than ever at the moment.
Our team of mentors reported that during the pandemic many mentees have found themselves struggling with isolation, boredom, anxiety, uncertainty, loneliness and other yet more serious issues such as health and financial worries.
However, on the upside, our mentors have also shared positive news: quality mentoring relationships have had a positive impact on both them and their mentees during the pandemic. Most notably, the human and social connections provided by mentoring during the pandemic.
For mentees taking part in safe and supported one-to-one discussions, enabling personal development and change, it has the ability to diminish stress and reduce burnout.
There is always a need for mentors, and we have found even more so during the pandemic. Our mentors all agreed that it is a unique and rewarding challenge. It also offers an opportunity to self-assess while assessing the needs of the mentee.
There’s no denying that the pandemic has changed the way mentors can support themselves and their mentees.
Here is a list of how our mentors have adapted their mentoring during the pandemic:
- Be mindful when checking in with your mentees. Routines and responsibilities whilst working from home require flexibility. Short, more frequent check-ins might be more conducive to help to prioritise your mentee’s goals.
- Be authentic when listening to the mentee is dealing with work-life issues. Empathy goes a long way when listening to the mentee’s challenges. Ask what support they need to alleviate some of their challenges.
- Problem-solve together and encourage the mentee to be creative in considering solutions.
- Recommend relevant virtual networking opportunities, which can be career-related or aimed at life skills.