Monday, June 23, 2014

Reverse mentoring--can work out

I had an exasperating conversation with my DSL provider over whether the black thing next to my computer was the modem. I still don't know.

The young chap seemed quite annoyed with me.

Sue Shellenbarger, WSJ, May 28, 2014, advises older managers to admit defeat and get a youngster to tutor them in bits and bytes and social media.

Often. though, these pairups don't work--the younger person may be intimidated by the CEO sitting there.

One woman was in computers at MasterCard when she was asked to tutor the human resources director. He wanted to relate better to employees born after 1980 (37% of the workforce). Also he wanted to reach young people better to get them to get a MasterCard.

The older man stepped up his visits to LinkedIn and to share with his connections there.

The young woman asked him how he wanted to brand himself in cyberspace. He had no idea.

She researched things for him, helped him make up tweets.

His 26-yr-old son said he never thought dad would be in Twitter. He also has 2300 LinkedIn connections and tweets 50 times a month--all by himself.

Once, coming back from a meeting, he tried to talk to his young mentor, but she was eyeing her phone. He said it was like being with his 14-yr-old daughter.

Yet, the young woman now reviews MasterCard websites and has gained in stature and confidence.

Winners all!

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