Take a look at this tweet from a couple of days ago…
Waiting for my first reverse mentoring session on diversity/race with a senior individual at an organisation. The conversation:
Him: “Are you here to fix my laptop or printer?”
Me: “No I’m here for the mentoring session”
Him: “Oh gosh I’m so sorry”
I cannot make this stuff up…
“We all make assumptions, all the time.”
Before you judge too harshly, stop for a minute and notice what story you have already started to make up in your head about who the younger mentor and the older mentee might be? We all make assumptions, all the time.
Assumptions are part of our human makeup and sometimes they serve us well. However, they can also seriously get in the way as illustrated above. Last week we worked with a bunch of amazing people at RSM to launch their new Reverse Mentoring programme. To help raise awareness of our unconscious bias’ and hopefully avoid any kind of similar conversation to the above, we spent a chunk of the day assumption busting. And we uncovered some great stuff.
According to the mentors (younger people in the firm), all the mentees (partners in the firm) are: from a wealthy background, like a drink and went to university… simply not true.