Mentoring is currently a trending topic in leadership development. Mentoring has gained popularity as aspiring leaders in the workforce recognize the benefits of tapping into the experience of a leader who has already had an opportunity to learn leadership skills in the real world through their work experience. What could be better than asking for advice from someone who already knows what happens in a situation rather than spending time speculating then trying it only to find out it was a really bad idea? That’s one of the great benefits of finding a great mentor to be a sounding board and advisor. So, for a good many years we have thought of mentors as older people helping younger people. But I often hear this comment from mentors who say, “I got as much out of the experience as my mentee” (or protégé, whichever name you call them). That led to the concept of reverse-mentoring with the recognition that the older person often learned from the younger person. A great example is the way that younger people are teaching IT and social media skills to older workers. This makes you wonder who the real beneficiary is in a mentoring relationship. Frequently, it’s both parties. And, maybe the point isn’t which party is benefitting but how a bridge of understanding is built between the two because they start to appreciate each other’s perspective on the situation they are discussing. Having a mentor is very popular with Millennials and their mentors are usually older, such as Baby Boomers. Just think of the two-way bridge of mutual understanding that can be built through the application of mentoring between different generations. Maybe there is a way across the generation gap after all.
My book is now available and the information is on the blog under a different tab. I hope you will find it interesting and helpful if you are in the workplace and trying to understand some of the generational issues in the leadership ranks.