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7 Lessons Senior Leaders Can Learn From Employees

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Josie Copeland
Ten Thousand Coffees Team -
July 15, 2019

Instead of teaching your junior employees what you’ve learned throughout your career, consider letting them teach you instead.

This concept, commonly referred to as “reverse mentoring,” transforms the traditional one-way dialogue into a mutually beneficial exchange of ideas and knowledge.

The opportunity to both teach and learn can be incredibly rewarding, enriching and empowering for both mentee and mentor.

Here are 7 lessons Senior leaders can learn from their Junior Employees:

1. Pay Attention to Details

As a leader it can be hard to stay informed about all front line company activities. Spending time with those heavily involved in the day-to-day operations of the company can give a great deal of insight into the inner workings of the company.

Understanding how the little things make a big impact on employees daily work can really help you to increase productivity and morale. Small changes can make a huge impact on employees’ performance.

2. Bring Fresh Perspectives to Company Challenges

Routine, repetition and boredom can easily seep into a job over time. Meeting junior employees that have a fresh perspective on the business can ignite a new sense of innovation, creativity and interest.

This injection of energy from ambitious junior employees can force us out of a rut and inspire fresh concepts and solutions.

3. Embrace New Technologies

Google is often our best friend when it comes to learning more about new and emerging technologies. But talking to junior employees can help you to better understand the impact it has had on communication, skill development and consumerism.

Learning more about younger employees’ technology habits may unlock a deeper understanding and connection across generations. This could spark, for example, a new appreciation for their confidence in using their voice online or channeling their true authentic self.

4. Put Empathy into Inclusion

What better way to improve understanding and compassion for people of different genders, ages, ethnicities, religions etc. than to spend more time communicating with them?

Working closely with someone very different to yourself can offer a new perspective and an opportunity to practice necessary skills, such as empathy and active listening. Their outlook can teach you something new about yourself and improve your wider interactions with people of different social backgrounds, genders, ethnicities and/or sexuality.

5. Slow Things Down to Listen

In today’s busy world it can be hard to slow down and listen openly to others. Stepping away from your desk and spending quality time talking to junior employees can be a welcomed break from the strain of daily life.

This freedom offers you the space to relax and fully engage in the conversation. As a result, it can be a truly enriching experience that quickly builds mutual respect, connection and understanding.

6. Incorporate New Habits into Your Life

Many young employees have not followed the traditional career ladder that many senior leaders have. Instead, they have carved out new paths for themselves on their journey, quickly adapting to a fast-changing working world.

Senior leaders can learn a lot from younger employees about embracing change and living in the present moment. Hearing about other’s hurdles and challenges can open your mind to new possibilities and opportunities in the future.

7. Revisit and Strengthen Your Own Network

When employees ask for advice, you may often find yourself making a new introduction to someone you know that could give that person some advice and help. Being a mentor in this way allows you to reignite old relationships with people in your own network which could result in a positive outcome for both parties.

It is important to remember that there are numerous benefits that Senior leaders can gain from more junior employees. There is also a particular responsibility on the senior leader’s side, since they have the power to act on new insights and understanding and change the company for the better.

About Ten Thousand Coffees

Ten Thousand Coffees is an enterprise talent development platform that enables companies to scale and measure informal development. Every month, members receive data-driven introduction that are customized to their goals, interests and role. Feedback and success stories provide your organization with impactful business insights about the success of your people-strategies.  The Future of Work is transforming organizations: informal development between colleagues is where talent mobility and culture sticks. 

Visit www.tenthousandcoffees.com to learn more about how Ten Thousand Coffees can help your team today.

For more information contact info@tenthousandcoffees.com

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