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Reverse Mentoring

Published on 03-Sep-2022
Rohit Behani
Rohit Behani

Partner & CEO

Engaging young and emerging professionals in the gas industry is essential to ensure that the knowledge of experienced industry professionals is not lost when they retire. As I turn 50 and having spent 25 years learning about high-pressure gas cylinder valves, my biggest challenge is to ensure that the experience and wisdom I have acquired with time becomes organizational knowledge.

The baby boomers and Gen X professionals (to which I belong) considered the gas industry sacred. Instead, the millennials have a mind of their own, and their attachment to the industry is not unconditional. However, there is a lot to learn from them, especially how they view life holistically and work as a part of it. Therefore, engaging with Young Professionals is vital to ensure that they see the gas industry as a rewarding career path and not just a stepping stone to the next job. 

As our business grew, my workload increased exponentially. I took it upon myself to mentor several young team members who showed the hunger to succeed and inclination to take a broader role in the organization. 

The importance of mentoring young team members first dawned on me in 2015 when I read Sheryl Sandberg’s book – “Lean In”. She dedicated an entire chapter on Mentoring and explained why a culture of Mentorship in an organization is a key driver of success.

Touching lives positively through Mentoring fulfilled me in several ways and provided some answers to the question of my life’s purpose. On the other hand, I gained insight and wisdom through reverse mentoring, which involves a junior team member entering into a professional friendship with a senior exchanging skill, knowledge and understanding. The purpose of this blog is to explain that reverse mentoring is underrated and not acknowledged enough. 

Technology disruptions and artificial intelligence force us to relearn and reinvent our roles and responsibilities to stay relevant daily. Experience is a double-edged sword and proves to be a liability if it comes in the way of relearning or challenging the status quo. My interaction with the Young Professionals inspires and energizes me immensely. I am a believer in the power of youth as they have a fast-learning curve. They are more confident in general, ask questions, are not sceptical, and do not get weighed down by the fear of being proved wrong.

On good days, they keep things simple when I complicate stuff, make me laugh, help blow off steam when work gets too hot, and shoulder the burden of completing a seemingly difficult task. 

On bad days, they appear nonchalant and frustrate the living hell out of me. However, just like any sports enthusiast would agree, the joy and the frustration come with the territory. Like in sports, I am learning to handle the rough and tough days with my reverse mentors to enjoy and soak in the pleasure of the good days. 

To summarize – never miss an opportunity to learn from young talent, especially those worthy of being trained. Their perspective can be invaluable, and the energy and impetus they bring to any task is a game-changer. 

I manage to stay young and relevant mainly due to the quality time with my reverse mentors. They give me the most favourable return on my time with interest. It is never the wrong time to raise a toast for them. I will do so tonight.

Feel free to reach me at [email protected]

Comments (1)

Sanjiv Agarwal


Insightful and Enriching
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