We have all heard the adage that "you are never too old to learn something new"----but how about when that something new is coming from those younger than you. Sri Shivananda, vice president of PayPal's global platform and infrastructure, has been turning the traditional mentorship model on its head as he seeks to both better understand millennials and engage his younger workforce. Sri believes that reverse mentorship is critical to ensuring that a leader stays relevant.
Shivananda says reverse mentoring also helps leaders connect with millennials. "Often leaders look at millennials and don’t understand them," he says. "Reverse mentoring gives me an opportunity to do that, not just by learning in terms of technology, but by engaging and maximizing the workforce. It gives me an ability to demonstrate that this is a place to come to work and be appreciated. Somebody wants to understand and learn from them." Reverse mentoring works best when it’s a reciprocal experience, says Shivananda, and this can help the junior employee grow in his or her own career by discussing their aspirations.