Can reverse mentoring at home and work improve our parenting and leadership skills?

Reverse Mentoring

Mentoring is generally defined as a one – on – one relationship where a senior professional (mentor) will guide or share his/her specialised wisdom with a junior (mentee/protégé)

By definition and convention, we believe that the senior or older people have all the necessary competencies to guide the junior folk. Mentoring shapes the right attitude among them. With internet of things (IOT) barging into our personal and professional lives, it seems practical and logical that we start learning from our children and younger team members. Our technological immersion requires us to be innovative in the way we decide to update ourselves. Learning from children at home brings fun, better connect and a healthy communication style in parent – child relationship.

When my daughter teaches me to change the settings of my phone to download videos or helps me to make a you tube channel, I swallow my parental pride and listen to her attentively. “Pay attention” echoes in the same way as it emits from my mouth when I solve a quadratic equation for her. The role reversal balances our bond and strengthens it.

One of my students manages my social media pages and keeps suggesting me ways to improve my digital presence. His mentoring is valuable and we as seniors must admit that we need to be trained by these young netizens for whom IOT is a part of lifestyle.

Technology wants leaders to be more open to the idea of learning from the younger executives as this will save time and lead to better learning on the job.

When parents learn a new skill from their children, they learn to appreciate their children better. Children learn to empathise with their parents and understand how the parents feel when they teach something to them.

When senior leaders get mentored by the juniors, the communication flows easily and the environment relaxes to some extent. Though it requires maturity at both ends, the results of such mentoring in the dynamic world of today could be enriching and lasting.

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