I have had the opportunity of having some incredible mentors through my life. I actually would have to give credit to most any great that I may do today to the mentors God has allowed me to have in my life time.
I have mentors that seem to fall under 1 of 3 categories. I will briefly explain the 3 types and will tackle the long distance mentor today.
1. Mentors that live close. The name of this mentor pretty much says it all. This would be a mentor who lives in the same city, town, etc. One who you can easily and readily set up a time for coffee and go and be mentored.
2. The unbeknown to me mentor. This is the mentor who doesn’t even know they are your mentor. You watch them from afar, you read their books, listen to their podcast, watch them on t.v., listen to their sermons, and other creative ways to reap the goodies that they share.
Then the mentor that we are talking about today…
3. The long distance mentor. This mentoring will take some definite intentionality. Here is a mentoring relationship that I have probably had the most of during my life. But due to this being the main type for me I have developed some ideas and found some tools that aid on making it profitable.
A. Have a cheat sheet ready every time you meet. This will be a document that you record down what you talk about, what the mentor shares with you, resources they may bring up, ideas, anything. You must make sure you review this each time before you meet with them so that you always show that you want to be a good steward of their time with you.
A few tools that I have used and/or using with my long distance mentors would include:
Day One. This is a journal app for my iPad, iPhone and my MacBook Pro. It has a search feature that allows me to enter a word and then it will pull those places that word is used. So in each header, I name it so. Example Mentoring time with _______. Now I want to pull up every time I met with them I would enter their name and WA-la, there they would be.
Evernote. I use this in so many ways I can not even explain without writing a book.
DropBox. Here is an area that my mentor and I can swap materials back and forth. Edit them together, enter items for the other to read before we meet again and for them to be notified when an item has been entered or changed.
Group Skype. I use to use just skype but occasionally in my Kidology Coaching times I pull my students together for a video chat and group skype is the tool I use for them as well as my mentoring time. Whatever you may use, I feel it is the responsibility of the one being mentored to prep in advance with questions to be addressed during the mentoring time.
There’s more, but to keep this from becoming too long I will stop there. What do you use for long distance mentoring?