Reverse Mentoring

old dog

Teaching old dogs new tricks

old dog

Find a mentor… At your daughter’s high school

I just read an article in .the Sydney Morning Herald about “reverse mentoring”. The idea is that especially in respect of modern communications and use of social media, senior (and older) business people should acknowledge that they might be be wise and experienced, but largely clueless about the developments in social media and new forms of communicating and marketing. One acknowledged… the article suggests to take on a mentor who is half your age to move forward.

Being a very old and experienced and wise business person myself(!), I found myself nodding my head when reading the article by Sylvia Pennington. I’ve turned 56 and although I pride myself to be reasonably up with the times, I’m often confronted with my limitations in understanding how younger generations communicate and want to be communicated with. Having a Facebook account and taking the odd photo of my breakfast might rate as being on the cutting edge with my friends, but there is a whole world of new opportunities out there that I barely know about, let alone understand.

So yes, I’ve taken on a 25 year old marketing assistant, who works with me every week. She patiently tries to explain what she does for me every now and then, and I patiently try to understand, and somehow we muddle through and the partnership seems to work… Even if I do wonder why anyone would want to spend time on the latest app/widget/thingo/craze that she directs me to.

But it’s a good point that Sylvia makes. Just because we’ve been around for a while, doesn’t mean we know it all… we may know something about something, but we know nothing about a whole heap of stuff… ask for help from the people that do… people the age of your kids … or younger. You can be sure of one thing, it will drag you out of your comfort zone… and that’s always a good thing… I promise you.

 

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