In the movie The Intern, Robert De Niro’s 70-year-old character becomes bored with retirement and decides to take an internship at an online fashion website. The elder intern, who was a successful businessman in his day, is out of his element at a digital company. The young workers quickly learn how much the elder has to teach the upstarts, and the new intern discovers how much the younger workers have to teach him.

In a three-part series starting today, Promotional Consultant Today shares these insights and benefits of reverse mentoring—seeking out insights from the younger generations at work.

When mentoring is discussed in business, the usual picture is of a younger teammate, working through career and growth issues by meeting regularly with a more seasoned business leader. Recently, more older business leaders have begun to seek out meetings with younger employees, looking to gain insights into rapid technology and market lifestyle changes through reverse mentoring.

In his blog post Why You Need a Reverse Mentor at Work, executive coach Paul Bernard discusses reverse mentoring and its benefits:

1. You can get advice and information that you wouldn’t receive from your usual sources. Getting input only from those your age and older limits the quality of the information you have and can compromise decisions.

2. You can get caught up on technology faster. Disruptive technologies like mobile devices, big data, social media, CRM and marketing automation make large advancements on a continuous basis, and having a connection who follows them keeps you up to date and can help you reap big benefits.

3. You can work together to come up with new ideas. As the pace of innovation continues to quicken, younger workers can provide access to other youth and trendsetters who are shaping markets.

4. You can get energized—and so can your ‘reverse mentor.’ Those with reverse mentors find that the conversations bring a new energy about the potential of work to both parties in the relationships.

PCT returns tomorrow with more of Bernard’s advice on how to make the most of your reverse mentor.

Source: Paul Bernard is the founder and principal of Paul Bernard & Associates, an executive coaching and career management consulting firm based in New York City.