Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 33

With a senior employee as the mentee
and a junior employee as the mentor,
there may be some inherent discomfort
for the people in these roles. A senior
executive may struggle with taking
advice from someone who is lower in the
organizational hierarchy. On the flip side,
a more junior or younger employee may
not feel comfortable giving feedback or
challenging the thinking of someone who
could potentially harm their career.
Companies that want to implement
reverse mentoring successfully need to
ensure they launch the program with
a clear purpose and explicit rules of
engagement that mentees and mentors
are aware of and respect. With that in mind,
here are five rules of engagement that will
help mentees and mentors participate in
reverse mentoring with confidence, care
and consideration.

ACCOUNTABILITY IS
AT THE HEART OF ALL
GOOD MENTORING
RELATIONSHIPS.

RULE #1: SET GUIDELINES
A good mentoring relationship has
boundaries, meaning there is an agreed
upon understanding between the mentee
and mentor of what the relationship is
and what it is not. Establishing these
parameters should be a priority for
mentoring pairs; this can also be an
opportunity for mentoring program
administrators to help their participants
define what the mentoring relationship
should look like. For example, maybe the
mentoring program is set up so that each
pair focuses on helping the executive
learn about social media or identifying
and leveraging a millennial viewpoint on
work-related topics.
Defining this purpose will give mentees
and mentors a clear picture of what

they should expect of their mentoring
relationship and time together. This
creates an understanding of why they
are meeting with one another and can
help them focus their time and efforts
accordingly. Developing this common
purpose, along with broader relationship
guidelines, will also help mentees and
mentors explicitly state how they will
hold one another accountable and what
information needs to remain confidential
within the relationship.
Holding a superior accountable might feel
uncomfortable for a junior mentor, but
accountability is at the heart of all good
mentoring relationships. Mentees need
to be held accountable for their actions,
promises and commitments. It does not
do anyone any good to have a mentee
who does not follow through on their
tasks or responsibilities. The mentor must
make sure their mentee follows through
as needed. Setting clear expectations and
agreeing to hold one another accountable
needs to be discussed upfront.

RULE #2:
RESPECT ONE ANOTHER
Having respect for one another is
a hallmark of any great mentoring
relationship. Respect is demonstrated
in how the pair speaks to one another,
listens to one another, and treats one
another and their relationship. Without
respect, mentoring pairs may not give or
receive feedback in the spirit it is intended

or won't believe the best of one another if
one falls short of a commitment. However,
when respect is present, the mentee and
mentor can confidently address issues as
they arise.
Keep in mind: With respect comes trust.
When a mentee or mentor knows their
partner is open to giving and receiving
feedback, learning from or teaching
their partner, and acting with the best
intentions, they build trust in them. This
trust may not come easily, but it is essential
for a mentoring relationship to work.

RULE #3:
LEARN HOW TO GIVE
AND RECEIVE FEEDBACK
As mentioned in terms of respect, it is
vital that mentees and mentors know
how to give and receive feedback. This
is particularly important in a reverse
mentoring relationship. Many executives
are accustomed to issuing orders but
not taking feedback. It may be even
harder when that feedback comes from
a lower level employee. In the same vein,
it might be difficult for the junior mentor
to give their mentee (i.e., their CEO or vice
president) feedback. No one wants to say
the wrong thing or make a bad impression
on a person in power who can make their
work life difficult or push them out of a job.
The whole point of reverse mentoring is
for the junior mentor to help the senior
mentee learn. Part of that learning

Reverse Mentoring on Gender Issues
While most people think of an older executive as a mentee and a younger employee as
the mentor in reverse mentoring relationships, reverse mentoring can be used for more
than this and can go beyond age-related connections.
LeanIn.org found that a shocking 60% of male managers are uncomfortable
participating in common work activities with female employees, such as mentoring,
working alone or socializing together. Perhaps it's time to practice mentoring as a way
to expose male leaders to women's perspectives on work and life experiences. A reverse
mentoring relationship focused on women as mentors and men as mentees for the
explicit purpose of learning about gender discrimination and gender issues could be a
much-needed learning opportunity in today's workplace.

T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MAGAZ INE -FORMALIZ ING INFORMAL L E ARNI NG 2 019 I W W W .T RAI NI NGI NDU S T RY .C OM/ MAGAZI NE

| 33


https://www.leanin.org/mentor-her https://www.trainingindustry.com/magazine

Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019

Thinking More Broadly About How Adults Learn
Table of Contents
Mentoring: 4 Keys To Making it a Meaningful Learning Experience
Formalizing Informal Learning: Tinker Dabble Doodle Try
The Accidental Learner
Percolating Builds Depth
Coaching is a Cop-Out
Close More Deals With Story Selling
Partnering for the Power of Knowledge: How Can Knowledge Sharing Foster Collaboration Among L&D and Employees?
Organizational Resiliency: a Function of Leader Adaptability and Versatility
Rules of Engagement for by Laura Francis Mentoring Reverse
Steps to Formally Make The Informal Part of Your Content Strategy
The Play's the Thing': The Power of Story-Based Learning
Fujitsu’s Experiment With Peer Coaching Pays Off
How to be Authentic When Collaborating on Multicultural Virtual Teams
Making the Case for Informal Learning at Work
Formalizing Informal Learning to Improve Performance
Making Learning Fun Again
Investing in the Future of the Worker, Not Just the Future of Work
Company News
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Cover1
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 2
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Thinking More Broadly About How Adults Learn
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Table of Contents
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 5
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 6
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 7
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 8
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Mentoring: 4 Keys To Making it a Meaningful Learning Experience
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 10
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Formalizing Informal Learning: Tinker Dabble Doodle Try
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 12
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - The Accidental Learner
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 14
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Percolating Builds Depth
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Coaching is a Cop-Out
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 17
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 18
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 19
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Close More Deals With Story Selling
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 21
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 22
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 23
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Partnering for the Power of Knowledge: How Can Knowledge Sharing Foster Collaboration Among L&D and Employees?
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 25
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 26
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 27
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 28
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Organizational Resiliency: a Function of Leader Adaptability and Versatility
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 30
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 31
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Rules of Engagement for by Laura Francis Mentoring Reverse
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 33
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 34
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 35
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Steps to Formally Make The Informal Part of Your Content Strategy
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 37
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 38
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 39
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - The Play's the Thing': The Power of Story-Based Learning
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 41
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 42
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 43
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Fujitsu’s Experiment With Peer Coaching Pays Off
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 45
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - How to be Authentic When Collaborating on Multicultural Virtual Teams
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 47
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 48
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 49
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 50
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Making the Case for Informal Learning at Work
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 52
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Formalizing Informal Learning to Improve Performance
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 54
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Making Learning Fun Again
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Investing in the Future of the Worker, Not Just the Future of Work
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Company News
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Cover4
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