It is a fact that communication is one of the most important factors that determine the success or failure of a mentoring process and informal learning. As many mentors and mentees know very well, being able to interact with each other on a regular basis and whenever each of the two parties feel it is necessary lays the foundation for a smooth process, which allows for better results and self-confidence.
The importance of effective communication is documented throughout the mentoring experience, as there are certain points in time when our mentees feel vulnerable and in need of guidance. This happens not only because they have a lot of questions about the field to which they are new, but also because a lot of unexpected issues come up and the mentees do not know how to proceed next. This is becoming more significant these days, because of the COVID-19 restrictions and the isolation that the whole world is experiencing. Thus, proper and frequent communication is necessary for the well-being of the mentees. However, it is very important to mention that mentors, too, have the same need for regular communication with their mentees, as this gives them the opportunity for more feedback and they can plan their future sessions in a more effective way.
Therefore the questions that follow are the following; which communication tools are mostly used by mentors and mentees, what are the advantages and are there any disadvantages that we need to know about?
The Network Roadmap, which has been developed as part of the Bridging the Gap project, is such a helpful and efficient tool for mentors, as it can provide answers to those questions. It presents many options that cater to different people’s needs and preferences. It is a fact that as mentors, we tend to use the digital tools that we already familiar with. Therefore, many of us prefer to do our mentoring process, interact with young entrepreneurs and plan our projects using the same technology that we use in our everyday life. Examples may include our personal social media. However, it is important that we remain open to new ideas, that we know all the options that are out there and how they can help our professional obligations and support our mentees in the best possible way. This is very important these days, as there are so many new digital tools, with so many different features that it is becoming harder and harder to keep track of.
The Network Roadmap provides solutions to this problem and offers a selection of modern, easy to use and effective tools for different purposes, such as communication, project management, storage, presentation, suit and mentoring. It can assist us to find the most suitable tool, as it offers a concise description with the most important characteristics. It contains not only the famous ones, but also other less popular tools that may be useful for us. Even if we choose not to use all the tools that are on the Network Roadmap, we can still benefit from gaining a better understanding of what technologies are available and perhaps use them in the future, when the need arises.