The value of a mentor is immense. Mentors come in many guises, but generally are of a different generation to the mentoree, in order to be able to provide the depth and breadth of experience, knowledge and expertise needed to contribute effectively to the development of each mentoree. This is one reason why, as mentors, it is vital that we keep up with the up-and-coming generation in terms of their culture, interests and technology – in other words the influences upon the forming of this generation’s common traits. We need to understand what makes them tick!
Of course each individual is just that – unique and individual with needs specific to their aspirations and interests. But having an insight into a generational culture is invaluable as a mentor. Naturally, we want to be able to relate on every level possible to provide the best mentoring relationship we can to our youngster mentorees.
I read a great article by Archana Karnik, Published on August 10, 2015, “Mentoring Generation Z Girls in Technology”. As you can imagine, I found it fascinating on several levels: as a tech-spert, as a business woman, as a mom and from the behavioural trait perspective.
The way we educate our children and the technology available to them is forming some habits and traits which will have a significant societal impact, as well as upon the future professional landscape. One thing I loved was Archana Karnik’s observations about the collaborative and mutually supportive attitude of the group she mentored. I also thought it was great to hear about how they reached out for feedback, information and expertise within their own network and how they utilised all their resources. This is certainly a resource rich generation! They don't only have access, but also the immediacy (and the expectations congruent to those aspects of their culture) and whilst we may have to pick up the pace to keep up with them, there will be so many contributions we can offer from our time-before-theirs – that’s exciting, isn’t it?!