A new trend is beginning to gain some traction in the business world and it is called reverse mentoring. You not only need to be aware of the trend, but involved in it. Traditional mentoring is viewed as a one-way street. Older, wiser people invest in the lives of younger, less-experienced people to help them curate the lives and careers that will get them where they want to be. The only problem is people like me (Millennials) often know quite a bit that is completely foreign to our older counterparts. I know that comes off as arrogant and assuming, but let’s be real…I know a heck of a lot more about social media and it’s inner workings, blogging, and the internet in general than many people in their late 30s and up.
That’s all well and great, but why should you care?
I will give you 3 reasons why reverse mentoring should be important to anyone:
- Reverse mentoring gives you the courage to do that which you are afraid of. Intimidated by the breadth of social media? Working with someone younger who knows the inner workings and can encourage you through the process will boost your confidence enough to get you moving.
- Reverse mentoring can introduce you to a large network of younger people working to do incredible things. Reverse mentors are willing to do what they do because they want to help. It takes nothing for them to leverage their knowledge and expertise to help you. Chances are these younger people know some other younger people doing incredible things and working to change the world. All you have to do is tap into that network!
- Reverse mentoring gets you out of your own frame of reference. Working with a younger mentor allows you to hear about the world from their perspective and how the experiences of their life have shaped them. There’s a good chance the younger person has been through something you have not. Why not learn from that?
If that is not enough to convince you to reach out to a younger person to begin a reciprocal mentoring relationship, I’m not sure what will. You have unique value to offer a younger person. You have made mistakes they have not yet and your experiences may be able to save them from trouble down the road. You do not need anything else to be a mentor. If you have life experiences to share from and lessons learned, then you are well on your way to becoming a mentor. Reverse mentoring is bound to gain more traction in the months and years to come. With the advancement of technology increasing at a rapid pace there will soon come a time where I will need to come alongside a younger person to be mentored on whatever the next big thing is and how it works. Never count yourself out. You can easily stay on top of current trends and technologies if you will let someone reverse mentor you.
Are you already being mentored by someone younger? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments!