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Reverse mentoring describes a situation in which a younger or early career professional mentors a senior colleague. While the overarching goal mirrors that of a traditional mentorship — advancing the professional growth of the mentee — because the roles are reversed, this model shows everyone that experiential learning is just as valuable regardless of your age or expertise.
Junior employees gain more access to social networks and build their leadership skills. Senior employees gain a fresh perspective and expand their knowledge around new trends or technologies. Everyone becomes more engaged.
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Mentoring is always a two-way street, whether it is reverse mentorship or the traditional kind. While you’re mentoring a senior colleague, use the opportunity to learn more about how things get done on their team, gain new perspectives on how decisions are made and build your cre...
How you actually begin a mentoring relationship will largely depend on who you collaborate with. Make your intentions and expectations clear from the start. Together, you should discuss:
Recognize that reverse mentoring may be uncomfortable for some people, especially those in positions of power who are not used to being in the passenger’s seat. If you find a senior leader struggling to lean into their vulnerabilities, guide them with empathy.
Mentoring is most successful when you take the time to think about what you are qualified to teach, what other people in your organization may be interested in learning from you, and how it overlaps with your company’s business objectives.
During your next one-on-one meeting with your boss, you could say something like, “I have learned a great deal from the senior colleagues in our organization, and in return, I’d like to take the opportunity to share some of my skills within the organization.”
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