I do a little mentoring. I also use mentors for support.
The format for most of my mentoring interactions has been through a series of one-hour conversations. This has a certain convenience in terms of logistics. However, I am now questioning whether this is the most effective format for mentoring.
I have one mentor who engages with me differently. More fluidly. She calls herself a ‘spiritual mentor.’ I think of her as a mindset and energy mentor, because these are the things she helps me to manage more effectively. We do not meet on a set schedule. We communicate when either of us senses a need for it via text message, audio files and email. I ask for a mentoring session when I feel I need it. Or she offers one when she senses a need for it. When I need closer support she sends more frequent messages, resources (links to videos, articles or image), and sets activities for me. This degree of flexibility works extremely well for the purpose of the mentoring relationship.
I currently have one mentee. We are on opposite sides of the globe. I am supporting him with a professional development (PD) goal. To achieve his goal we are seeking to strengthen his personal knowledge mastery (PKM) practice. In effect, pursing two PD goals in an integrated way. We had framed our interaction as a series of one hour sessions supported by resource curation via Padlet. Today I suggested a more fluid approach to him, one that is more aligned with a continuous learning practice. I invited him to connect with me on either WhatsApp or Slack so we could interact more frequently, in smaller, lighter touches. This would be in addition to live online sessions. I feel this would better serve him to develop a PKM practice, which is all about small steps on a daily basis.