Reverse Monitoring - new ways of learning

Reverse Monitoring - new ways of learning 10.10.2018 - At the age of 24, my school days were not too long ago. Nevertheless, I grew up in a school system in which there was a very clear distribution of roles: the "knowing and older teacher" explains to the "younger and untaught pupils" topics and facts which the pupils (mostly without questioning this at all) should regard as given and internalise. This system is basically the same for further training in (traditional) companies: Younger employees are trained by older managers (classical hierarchy system) and the knowledge is imparted top-down. In addition, experienced coaches and trainers are engaged to give the teams additional knowledge and new impulses. However, experienced trainers who have so many years of training experience and must have a knowledge advantage due to their age alone (this is at least the approach of the companies that employ these trainers) are also taken here.
Now, however, it is also the case in learning that digitisation turns a lot of things upside down.
Therefore, I would like to invite you to question yourself: "Who has a wealth of digital knowledge from which others can benefit (provided that this knowledge is shared)?
Now I'd like to take another little trip into the school world: I recently talked to the father of a first grader, who told me a bit about everyday school life today. His son attends a mixed 1st and 2nd class, in which children with different levels of knowledge learn together and develop (note that this is not a private school, but a normal state primary school). A principle in this class is that the pupils explain things to each other in small groups (without the teacher) and thus impart new knowledge on the one hand, and get imparted. However, it is not simply the case that only the older pupils (the second graders) explain something to the younger pupils (first graders), but also vice versa. This promotes a different mindset of the pupils already at a very young age: On the one hand, that not always only the hierarchically higher (teacher) knowledge imparts top-down. On the other hand, that knowledge can also be taught self-organised in smaller groups.
Exactly this mindset, which the pupils from the mixed class receive, is of utmost importance in the context of digitisation.
Now back to the question posed above as to who has a great store of digital knowledge: people who have been living with digital devices for a long time, deal with new technologies in a different and more natural way and are also usually very curious as to where the technology is heading. However, these people do not necessarily have to be older (keyword: Digital Natives) or hierarchically higher in companies in order to have a larger store of digital knowledge. Wouldn't it be ignorant to ignore this knowledge and not be open to it?
Through so-called reverse mentoring, this knowledge can be made useful for the entire organisation. Here, younger employees with distinctive expertise in a specialist area (e.g. Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence or Agile Project Management) coach and train the older generation and hierarchically superior colleagues. Reverse mentoring brings new impulses, since the mentors/trainers/coaches have a completely different point of view and are therefore already leading in certain fields, which are still completely new territory for their (older) colleagues.
In order for this system to come to fruition, companies must create an organisational and cultural framework that creates acceptance of knowledge in the face of something new and also arouses curiosity. Reverse mentoring can only work if the coached persons openly and impartially embark on such a journey and trust their (mostly) younger mentors and are willing to learn from them.
Try it out! Be curious and engage in reverse mentoring!

Author: Julian Knorr, Onestoptransformation

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