I was talking with a colleague several years ago over lunch and the subject of coaching and mentoring came up during the conversation.\n\u201cI wouldn\u2019t be where I am without the people who poured their wisdom and knowledge into me,\u201d he said, staring into his cappuccino. Looking over at a group of 20-somethings, he shook his head. \u201cI\u2019d like to do that for the next generation, but I don\u2019t know how to start.\u201d\nMentoring and coaching have been buzzwords within management for many years, and some amazing books and articles have been written to help us with this necessity in today\u2019s project-based workplace. However, traditional mentoring methods are not as efficient or successful as they were in the past. That\u2019s why my friend was a bit afraid to try mentoring the next generation. Many, but not all, veteran project managers think that the younger members of our \u201ctribe\u201d aren\u2019t interested in being mentored because they already have a mentor named \u201cGoogle.\u201d That\u2019s not the opinion of this author, or many other leadership gurus.\nOxford professor Karl Moore wrote in Forbes magazine:\n\u201cWe believe that Millennials are typically more interested than previous generations in finding a mentor. They have grown up with the notion that one must constantly seek the advice of another, and social media has put this notion on steroids.\u201d\n\u00a0Jeremy Cioara, my fellow CBT Nuggets trainer, is constantly mentoring his staff at his business: \u201cOn a scale of 1-10, I give it an 8. You don\u2019t know what you don\u2019t know until somebody comes and shows you the way.\u201d\nSo how do you start? I have found a few foundational pointers that might help you with mentoring in your organization. These pointers helped me build some strong relationships with younger professionals who are pursuing project management and IT service management careers.\n1. Understand their motives. Millennials will seek mentoring for a variety of reasons. Growing as a human being is a big part of that, but they also are naturally curious. It could be that they are just looking for someone to help them better their hobbies, which in turn, benefits their personal life. Once you\u2019ve accomplished that, you might be in a stronger position to help them increase their knowledge in other areas.\n2. Be the \u201cSearch Engine Enhancement.\u201d Because they have access to quite a bit of information at their fingertips, you want to become the filter they can use to weed out the bad from the good. Just think about how the Internet can serve up bad information, as well as good bits. I\u2019ll never forget how my grandfather helped me when buying my first new car. Even though I had done a huge amount of research into pricing, what the dealer really paid for the car, etc., it was my grandfather\u2019s understanding of sales and how to motivate people that brought the price down even further. Only reading the ads in the paper would have left me paying a lot more!\n3. Involve food. Having coffee and just building relationships with people has led to mentoring and coaching opportunities. Plus, it also becomes a two-way street! I have learned quite a bit from those who are younger than me, and that can be true in your mentoring relationships as well.\nNo matter what, get started. Work with your senior management to start mentoring programs such as \u201cbrown bag lunch talks.\u201d Or take that project that is full of Generation X\u2019ers or Millennials, and just be available in general. Being the bridge to the next generation is one of the keys to your success as well.