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Mentoring in Reverse

by Ken Vincent, Featured Contributor

Historically, mentoring has largely been a situation where older and more experienced business men and women mentored younger people.  Often times within the company, but it wasn’t unusual to find the relationship outside company lines.

MentoringPIFIt was, and still is, an opportunity where younger and less seasoned people could take advantage of the lessons learned, sometimes at considerable cost, from those that have been there and done that.  A relationship where both parties benefited in many ways.

But, I have to wonder if this isn’t a time where the age roles can and should be reversed.  The younger set, say in their 20s, know things that the older generation is struggling to understand.  The explosion of high tech has passed many of us by.  Baby Boomers and older, have been too busy doing what they do best to go back to school or even devote time to learning these latest terms and programs.

Technology is clearly here to stay.  It seems to me that one way to bridge the gap that exists between generations today is to do some reverse mentoring.  Perhaps a joint mentoring process is the answer.  I’ll teach you what I know, and you teach me what you know?  Or, do you think the older set is perhaps too proud to do that?

Do you know of cases where the younger are mentoring the older?  If so, how is it working?


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Ken Vincent
Ken Vincenthttp://sbpra.com/KennethVincent/
KEN is a 46 year veteran hotelier and entrepreneur. Formerly owned two hotels, an advertising agency, a wholesale tour company, a POS company, a leasing company, and a hotel management company. The hotels included chain owned, franchises, and independents. They ranged in type from small luxury inns, to limited service properties, to large convention hotels and resorts. After retiring he authored a book, “So Many Hotels, So Little Time” in which he relates what life is like behind the scenes for a hotel manager. Ken operated more that 100 hotels and resorts in the US and Caribbean and formed eight companies. He is a firm believer that senior management should share their knowledge and experience with the next generation of management.

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