How Ageism Co-Mentoring Works
Mentorship opportunities can be extremely powerful tools for learning how to best navigate life and work situations. However, there’s a chance that you aren’t taking full advantage of your mentorship opportunity or role.
Whether you are the mentor or the mentee, you should be teaching AND learning. It’s a thing of the past to assume that mentorship goes one way, especially with the changes our society has had in recent years.
Changes ranging from technological advances to generations living longer. It’s safe to say that younger individuals still need to learn from older mentors, but it’s vice versa now too.
Older mentors with years of experience also need to be curious and questioning. They need to be open to learning from younger counterparts, just as they are open to giving out advice.
This takes a lot of humility – the ability to understand that even with years of wisdom, there is more to learn. To understand that while younger individuals have massive amounts to learn throughout the remainder of their lives, so do older generations.
Often, because in our youth we saw older relatives retire and stop working and learning, we assume we should function the same way. How we as humans live longer now, and have more energy and resources to continue being active members of society for plenty of additional years than our grandparents or great grandparents did.
So, how does duel mentorship work? Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Having openness and humility – being open to build a bridge between what each of you know, and what each of you can teach, and learn – makes all the difference in whether your mentorship partnership is successful. Always have an open dialogue that flows both ways, and never assume someone should know something, or that you have information that won’t benefit the other person.
Keep An Open Mind About Knowledge
Keeping an open mind in all conversations, not just mentorships, is the best way to continue learning as you navigate through life. Never hold back information that could change someone’s life, and never be afraid to ask questions about items that could push you forward. Knowledge is so powerful, and the more you have means the more situations you can participate in in a smart way.
Bridge The Gap
The goal of a mentorship partnership is to ensure that you walk away from each conversation on an even playing field. Dive into each topic you talk about and each educate the other where they have knowledge holes. Work to bridge the gap between what you each know so you can stand side-by-side in terms of your awareness.
Don’t Play By The Rules
A lot of rules around mentorship programs were created years ago when our life expectancy and amount of years we were able to work just weren’t as high. Don’t make an effort to play by the rules, but rather to break them. Make your mentorship work for you, as two mentorship relations shouldn’t be alike. Everyone has a unique perspective, a different way of digesting information or sharing it. Make your relationship as unique as it needs to be to get the most out of it.
It’s Not Just About Learning New Things
It’s not just about gaining new knowledge, it’s also about gaining an understanding of how your current knowledge and skills can be amped up or made better use of. Having a mentor relationship should help give you a sense of focus that you can use in multiple situations in society and in the workplace.