Reverse-Mentoring: How millennials and boomers can co-exist

The Wall Street Journal had an interesting blog post recently, Baby Boomers: Play Nice With Gen Y. They noted that friction in the work place is common between millennials and boomers.

Here are the cliff notes of what was most helpful from a proscriptive standpoint, in my opinion.

Millennials, while born using technology and well advanced of their boomer colleagues, would do well to earn the respect of their less-technologically comfortable co-workers by reverse mentoring them on how to use social networks. Instead of deriding Boomers about not being on Twitter, maybe millennials could show them how and explain what an @mention / RT / DM / HT / #FF / OH / MT actually means and how it can benefit and grow business.

Millennials have MUCH to learn from boomers. How to earn the respect of a new prospect and how to translate a business concept to a less tech oriented executive can be highly valuable for the millennial noob in business. I’m currently learning this one and I’m grateful for the opportunity.

So, instead of the boomer sales guy lamenting that millennials couldn’t close an umbrella and millennials dissing (that means criticizing) a boomer for not following the proper protocol on Twitter, maybe they should both take a large dose of humility and admit they have something to learn AND teach each other.

As one wise philosopher once said, “When one teaches, two learn.”

Patrick Goodman
Red e App Product and Engagement Director

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