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Reverse Mentoring in a Mentor-Mentee Relationship

Mentoring is a learning partnership between two people with different backgrounds and experiences – it is a mutually beneficial partnership where both achieve new learning, new insights and grow as human beings affecting positive change in both mentor and mentee.

While traditional mentoring has been around since the time Socrates famously mentored Plato; the first to recognise the importance of “Reverse Mentoring” was John Welch (CEO of GE) who popularized it in the 1990s when he noticed the increasingly important role of technology in the workplace, and a growing technological skills gap amongst the older employees. This gap is advancing rapidly even today, given the rapid growth and application of technology in our daily lives.


Reverse mentoring is increasingly used today in business organizations which recognise that the millennials bring to the table talents and knowledge which may be new to the Gen-X employee. The idea is that the mentee can share their expertise (commonly, technology and digital media topics or various artistic talents) with the senior mentor, who may be less familiar in these areas.


Reverse mentoring embraced by mentors at Take Charge can yield dividends. Listening to mentees stories and ambitions about jobs and careers can give mentors valuable inspiration to focus on their own career and professional future and learn new skills thus bringing more value to the table.


My interactions with my mentees have offered me numerous opportunities to practice and build interpersonal skills, such as communication, active listening, empathy and patience in addition to learning about the mentees strengths and what it is that makes them “tick” .

At Take Charge, I have used Reverse Mentoring as an opportunity to learn and at the same time uncover the hidden talents in my mentees. This has given me a platform to acquire skills while building a quality and long-lasting relationship with all of them. Being a Scientist by profession, I was always a far call from the Art industry. Since joining Take Charge in TC-3, my mentees have introduced me to the world of Mass Media, Social media, Graphic Designing and Zoom Video Conferencing with all the gimmicks that it offers.


Some of my experiments with Reverse Mentoring -


1. Creating A Buddy Group Logo - it’s always been a tradition in our Buddy Group that it is the Mentee who creates the logo for our Buddy group and presents it to Take Charge after brainstorming with all mentors and mentees of the team. The credit for our Buddy Groups Logo for TC-5 goes to Breanna Fernandes. In her own words our logo “North Just Budzees symbolizes our group of GenZ comrades who look forward to a set of interesting and learning interactions. The Bee in the Logo signifies the Zing associated with this tiny insect as we choose to associate with its integral qualities - Concentration, Dedication, Communication, Productivity et al. North signifies that Our Group lives in the North, but also aim higher. We are more than just what meets the Eye, are we “North”?


2. My recent tryst with my mentee Edna Vaz introduced me to “Nail Art” a much-loved feminine style in today’s world. As a woman I was always attracted to Nail Art but hesitant since my personal experience at a parlour was not too good. With Edna I learnt the art of applying “Gel Nail polish” in a painless way within a short time. That was a fun evening for both with Edna displaying her talents and excellent execution style.


3. An evening out with Breanna has always been interspersed with laughter but Our Role Reversal Outing was where I learnt all about Creating a Reel, using apps such as In-shot and posting the reel on Instagram. A confidence building activity for me since I always had a few doubts and didn’t quite understand Instagram completely.


To sum up - Reverse mentoring creates a reciprocal relationship with open communication; such that the mentoring equation can grow. It could be a millennial teaching a baby boomer how to use Snapchat as a marketing channel, A Gen Z employee mentoring a Gen X employee on the latest trends in technology, Or A Take Charge Mentee mentoring A Take Charge Mentor on the latest trending skills which the Mentor may want to learn.


Asha Almeida TC 5 Mentor

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