Reverse mentoring is a concept that’s been gaining momentum in business over the past decade.
Any mentor-mentee relationship usually depends on using someone’s specific skills and knowledge to benefit from their know-how. But what happens when seniority isn’t the driver for mentoring relationships? Reverse mentoring challenges the status quo by pairing younger employees with C-suite executives, instead of vice versa. In this type of mentorship, younger employees teach senior executives about things like technology trends, new digital platforms, or cultural awareness. Reverse mentoring is bridging that gap in the organization so that people can be more effective internally with their peers and externally with their customers.
When done well it also builds important connections between generations within companies — which helps develop a greater diversity of thought and innovation, while bringing fresh ideas to the table.
The reverse mentor/mentee dynamic requires mutual respect for each other’s different expertise, an openness to learning and sharing, and a willingness to let go of any ego.
Reverse mentorships can develop strong relationships between people from two different generations within the same company. In reverse mentoring you have not only had access to knowledge makers but also can build connections with future leadership candidates in your generation which will help increase diverse thought processes throughout your company — helping foster innovation through new ideas. This reverse mentor-reverse mentee dynamic will not only make you a better leader but also help the next generation become more effective as well.
While a traditional mentoring relationship is designed for someone who’s just starting out or changing careers, reverse mentoring focuses on the benefits that long-time employees can gain from learning from their less-experienced colleagues.
The modern reverse mentoring program starts with the premise that executives are not experts in every facet of their business. By pairing up younger and more inexperienced employees with senior leaders, both parties can learn from one another about what it takes to be successful at work- especially when things go wrong or if there’s some new…