Reverse Mentoring

I recently had my first session with my new IT mentor. Do you have one yet? If you’re over 30 years old, you may need one.

Historically, mentoring has been thought of as something that older people do for younger people – there’s certainly still a place for these relationships. But the world is changing so fast, it is often the young that can teach the old.
I’m excited about this new relationship for many reasons. First, it will accelerate my growth. Honestly, I could probably learn everything my new mentor will teach me on my own – over the next 100 years! I’d prefer to learn in days from someone else what I could learn on my own over decades. Next, I’m leveraging someone else’s talents and gifts. Allowing them to share their expertise and share their passion seems like a good idea to me. Finally, I’ll get to spend time with a very smart person – I really enjoy that!
So what are we actually going to talk about? I’m not totally sure, but the following is my first stab at what I think I need. Who knows, he may add things to my list I’ve never even considered.
I need someone to…

Show me what’s possible with technology. I’m trying to keep up – but I need help. I want him to teach me about new and emerging technologies.

Help me disable the feature that makes me change my password every time I turn around.

Critique what I’m already doing in social media. Are my posts too long? Are my tweets lame? My son helps with this too. How do I make my content more compelling for a younger generation?

Suggest sites I should visit.

Challenge the way my brain works. I’m a product of my generation. I’m far too linear – social media is not.

Explain the cloud.

Recommend new products – software, hardware, apps, etc.

Ask me questions that I don’t know the answers to.

Give me answers to the questions I don’t even know to ask.

Recommend resources – conferences, books, magazines and other resources that I’m not familiar with.

Help me put music on my iPhone!

Do you need to start a reverse mentoring relationship? Don’t confine your thinking to the technology arena. Maybe, a younger person could help you learn about sushi, Settlers of Katan, popular music, or even how to lead the next generation more effectively. Have fun and keep growing![GLS_Shield]


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