This year I have joined the team of Developing Virtual Mentors (DVMs) as a part of Virtual Professional Learning and Development (VPLD). This is a reflection as a part of my learning during this new journey I am on.
Coming into the virtual mentoring role for the first time this year is a little nerve-wracking for me. In some ways I feel like I don’t have enough experience to mentor someone else, yet at the same time I believe my nature, skills and the experiences I have had will help enable me to develop into an effective virtual mentor.
My nature is generally quiet, reserved, introverted. This of course could be an advantage to a virtual mentor as I have often been perceived as a good listener and sounding board. I also (usually) think before I speak and so will take time to digest what has been said before responding. Of course this could also be an issue in a synchronous online space as those silences can be quite deafening sometimes and the desire to fill the void may come to the fore.
I have a lot of experience in working online, running webinars and supporting people online, so my skills in this area could be quite valuable.
The biggest barrier for me may actually be finding a quiet space. With mentees generally available after school hours, my children will be out and about the house during this time and can often make quite a noise! The other barrier of course is my confidence, but that will increase over time (and in fact has already increased during my first virtual mentoring meeting.
While slightly nervous, I’m quite excited by this new role and am looking forward to the learning that will continue along the way.