According to Techopedia, reverse mentoring is an initiative where an older executive is paired and mentored by a younger employee usually in areas such as technology, social media and current trends.
Reverse mentoring has great benefits to the mentor, mentee and the organisaton as a whole. Younger executives get an opportunity to interact and develop a working relationship with an older executive. On the other hand, older executives get the opportunity to gain knowledge from younger individuals who are usually technologically savvy.
Hereunder are five top questions that you should ask a reverse mentee:
What is the main goal that you will like to achieve from this mentor-mentee relationship?
This will give the mentee the opportunity to summarize from his/her vantage point the main goal for the mentorship. This is crucial information as it will allow you to structure the mentorship around the expected outcome of the mentee.
A senior executive will have a great understanding of his role and could tell you where your expertise will enhance his job. An example of a goal could be to understand how to use Instagram for business.
What are your key struggles with learning (state the area)?
This will give you an idea of whether the individual has interfaced with the area before. Listen carefully to the areas that the mentee describes as challenges and painpoints that you can tailor your teaching to these areas.
What areas do you find the easiest (state the field)?
On the other hand, it is useful to understand the areas which your mentee finds the easiest. Again this will help you to know which areas where you can allocate less of your time during your mentorship.
Tell me about your role?
For you to be an effective mentor, you need to understand what the individual does on a day to day basis. This will help you to create examples that relate back to the mentee’s role.
You will also be better able to tailor your training around the mentee’s role. On the other hand, an understanding of the role will allow you to offer suggestions on areas where the mentee may have overlooked.
If there is one thing about working with me that you suggest that I change, what would it be and why?
This question is crucial so that you can gather feedback from your mentee. According to Marisol Gonzalez, mentoring is a two way street. The mentor gets wiser while mentoring and the mentee gains knowledge through his/her mentor.
Therefore, take this opportunity as one that can grow and develop your career. Your mentor who is a more senior executive could give you valuable one and one feedback which you can immediate put into your career plan. So make great use of the opportunity.
Reverse mentoring is a unique opportunity as you are able to build a relationship with a senior executive. Put your best foot forward as this relationship could evolve into a lifelong friendship which could add dividends to your career in the future.
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