About six years ago, I learned that mentorship isn’t a one-way street. And that it doesn’t only happen from the top down. Faced with an urgent need to master social media and Twitter in particular, I initiated a reverse mentoring program for NY Women in Communications, a professional organization I’m a member of. After identifying a younger mentor and forming an agreement that we check our egos at the door, we expanded our collective skillsets – me in social media – I’m now a regular Twitter chat host- and she is finding her career path under my guidance. I’m finding that more and more, I’m gleaning significant business-building tips and knowledge from the intergenerational relationships I’ve developed, many with BNI members. Here are 3 things I’ve learning:
#1. Practice Fearlessness
Through cross generation collaboration, I have gotten better at overcoming some of the fear that can arise in making business decisions. My younger colleagues have shown me time and again that over-thinking is more of a hindrance than a help and that somethings by jumping in, you uncover unexpected, position outcomes.
#2. Openness is a Window to Opportunity
BEing open to meeting and working with people of all ages has provided me with the opportunity to discover new resources. I learned this in part from expanding my network beyond the sectors in which I typically work, to include people of all ages and backgrounds in fields vastly different from my own.
#3. Collaborate and Thrive
As a creative business person, I thrive when challenged. My involvement in cross-generational collaboration is inspiring and energizing. Through this relationship, we bring out the best in each other.
I now encourage others to deepen their experience of intergenerational mentorship and collaboration. It’s free and it’s all around you, and the rewards are plentiful.