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Almost everyone knows of mentoring and the advantages one gains from the mentoring process. But reverse mentoring? In this process, the mentor is not one of your usual more experienced, more senior kind of persons- but anyone who has more knowledge and skill in the particular area than the person that needs to be mentored. Technology is the best example where the rate of change is so fast that experienced people have obsolescence as their greatest enemy. They often have to learn about new technologies from their team members who are much younger than them.

I am sure the very experience is of great benefit to the young team member- The T & D Blog has a recent post on the topic of reverse mentoring and its many applications. I feel it has application in dealing with multi-cultural issues too. Increasingly, expat executives are seconded from one country to another. Often they find the culture in the new country is vastly different from theirs. In such cases, they would do well to use reverse mentoring to grasp the nuances of the culture they must quickly learn to adapt to.

Have you had any experiences in reverse mentoring?

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This is Post No: 286 of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success.