What is Reverse Mentoring?
Traditionally mentoring is from the top working down. From a more experienced member of staff to a more junior member of staff. However, Reverse Mentoring is becoming more common outside of the tech world. Experience and skills are no longer exclusively associated with the more senior members of staff and people have come to realise that there are plenty of experiences, ideas and mentoring that can be shared up the chain. This is not exclusively in tech and social media – although these are often the areas that reverse mentoring starts in.
As with all mentoring relationships to work reverse mentoring needs several factors to be firmly in place:
- clear goals and expectations;
- willingness to learn;
- a commitment to the mentoring relationship;
- trust between the mentor and mentee;
- open communication and transparency.
What are the benefits of Reverse Mentoring?
- It can close the knowledge gap between participants, with both parties learning from the experience.
- Learn about future trends.
- Empowers the leaders of the future.
- Builds the relationships between different employee generations and brings different employee generations closer together.
- Raises professional profile.
- It can kickstart innovation.
How to get involved with Reverse Mentoring?
Your Company may offer a formal reverse mentoring programme as part of their main mentoring programme. Alternately you can build an informal reverse mentoring relationship with a colleague or contact much in the same way that you would approach finding any mentor, but think about what you can offer in return. Reverse mentoring is a two-way street. If you start by being clear about what you want to get out of the relationship and what you can offer you will be a large step closer to being able to pick and approach the proper mentor/mentee based on this information.