My working hypothesis is…
…when mentoring, your mentee will likely be quicker to learn. They are younger, younger people learn faster. Use that to your advantage.
Let’s face it: you’re old. Sure, pretty spry – you wear your age well. Also: super accomplished! You made something of yourself. All well and fine. But you’re old. At least older than your mentee. Let’s call it experienced. That’s part of the problem. You think you are smart and now it’s your time to share your golden nuggets of wisdom.
That’s a blessing and a curse: of course, you know a thing or two your mentee does not. However, she or he will pick up things quickly. Information that is more up to date than your dated knowledge. Try and make that stir up your friendly, competitive nature: try to keep up with your mentee in the learning department. It’s easier said than done. Try it. I do and fail, most of the time. But then: there is so much to learn from your mentees.
We are all being overtaken by our younger mentees in the learning department. Trying to keep up can help not getting lapped, however.
This is a working hypothesis. Obviously it’s not a be-all-end-all truth. What’s your take? Let me learn in a comment. Thanks for helping me learn your perspective!