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A Paradigm Shift: Reverse Mentorship as a Catalyst for Innovation - risely newsletter
As we find ourselves midway through the year, it’s the perfect time to give your team a boost and take a fresh look at things. But hold on, I’m not going to bore you with the same old training methods in a shiny new package. 

I have an exciting idea that could truly invigorate your connection with your team, taking it to a whole new level of awesomeness!

When it comes to improvement, we often think of the usual suspects: coaching, mentorship, offline or online courses. You know the drill, right? Managers sometimes wonder if these methods really make a difference. 

But what if we approached it from a different angle, leveraging the assets your team already possesses?

Enter reverse mentorship โ€“ a whole new way to enhance skills and abilities within your team. The name itself tells you it’s a complete 180-degree shift from traditional mentorship. And guess what? It’s a game-changer, especially for managers who haven’t had much time to keep up with the ever-evolving world.

Picture this: a marketing team manager connecting with a junior team member to tap into the latest happenings in the industry. The junior member takes on the role of a mentor, sharing insights on innovative tools or the hottest SEO tricks. 

Believe it or not, even experienced managers can learn a thing or two from these fresh perspectives. Combining this knowledge can propel the manager ahead of their competition in no time.

But wait, there’s more! Going back to our earlier example, reverse mentorship also fosters connections and common interests between managers and their team members. For the new mentors, it creates an interesting opportunity to see their managers in a new light – reminding that leadership is a continuous learning process for each one of us. 

It builds relationships and demonstrates that their efforts and learning are highly valued. Plus, it could be an entertaining crash course in Gen-Z slang too! 

Now it’s time to find those incredible mentors within your team who can crack the latest buzz and collaborate with the established to create unprecedented innovation. And while you’re at it, feel free to read more about reverse mentorship.

But do you know whatโ€™s the secret ingredient to making such initiatives successful? It lies in humility. Humble leaders work behind the scenes to ensure that their junior team members are confident in sharing their knowledge while the older ones are open to learning. In adopting reverse mentorship, humble leaders can make a mark in many ways. 

For instance, the entire idea of learning from new peers begins with acceptance of the fact that there might be something you do not know! Further, as the lesson proceeds, one needs to come to terms with the existence of mistakes and failures too. Transforming them into a learning experience would set a great example for the team. Similarly, humble leaders are not afraid to share due credit, which is essential to making reverse mentorship successful. 

Recognizing the skills of your team members, celebrating their achievements, and expressing gratitude for the efforts made in helping others learn are all crucial jobs in making reverse mentorship a successful habit in your workplace. 

The journey may not be an ideal and smooth ride, yet it can take your team into unexplored seas. Generally, managers could face resistance from older and senior members upon the inception of such a program. The comfort of the status quo and the discomfort of change are both strong motivators to resist. 

However, the key is to remember that professional as well as team growth is not a linear trend. Going back to such team members, addressing their concerns, and lending an ear to actively listen to their perspectives can help managers leave such issues behind.

Reverse mentorship can be a unique and interesting detour for your team this year. But it need not be the only one. As the world is constantly changing, keep an eye on the latest in the world of leaders, managers, and workplaces with Risely every week.

Happy learning and exploring new horizons! 

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