Professor Barbara Allan
How do individuals experience time? Today, many of us may feel pressured by time, the challenges of demanding jobs, international travel, and the impact of instantaneous communications. In contrast, learning and development involves quiet time with space for conversations and reflection. E-mentoring enables mentees and mentors to work together across traditional time and geographic boundaries, and so it appears to offer flexible opportunities for busy professionals to gain help and support through online conversations. This lecture will explore some of temporal challenges faced by individuals, mentoring pairs and organisations supporting career development through e-mentoring. This involves exploring the temporal landscape(s) of the organisation, the impact of traditional educational experiences on individuals’ approaches to time, and also the temporal relationships between the mentee and mentor. Temporal metaphors provide insights into the experiences of mentees and mentors, and issues that arise are related to the concepts of ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ time, as well as ‘presence’ or ‘absence’ in a virtual environment. Finally, I offer some insights into different approaches to facilitating successful mentoring relationships in a virtual world.