Challenges of E-mentoring

June 26, 2014

In our last post we established that e-mentoring can be a great way to bring mentoring to a wider audience. But does e-mentoring come with any disadvantages? In this post we list a few possible e-mentoring challenges that you should be aware of!

Potential For Miscommunication

How many times has a coworker or friend interpreted one of your emails or texts differently than what you originally intended? It probably occurs more often than you think! While the internet has created an era of fast, quick communication, it has also opened the door for confusion and misunderstanding. When e-mentoring it's important to be careful about clear communication, as it's much easier to have your message interpreted incorrectly. Without the body language and tone that goes along with face to face conversations, e-mentoring takes a bit more work to get your message across.    

Slower Relationship Development

Mentoring is all about building a relationship between mentor and protégé, but for most of us it's much harder to build a relationship online than face to face. Those involved in e-mentoring have to put more effort into developing a relationship with their mentoring partner. Although a viable option for those who just can't be involved in face to face mentoring, the fact remains that online relationships can be tricky.

Need For Technical Literacy

While you don't have to be a computer genius to e-mentor, some technical knowledge is a must. Understanding of email and online chatting are necessities. While most of us either already have these skills or are capable of learning them, technical illiteracy can be a barrier to getting more mentors and mentees involved. Older individuals or people without access to computers can find the concept of e-mentoring simply too intimidating.