Young leaders, be brave!
There is plenty to deal with and worry about when you’re a leader but if you are a younger leader, managing a team that consists of people who are older than you can be daunting, to say the least.
The problem arises if older generations are unhappy, feeling as though they’re being demoted or looked down upon because their manager is now younger them – sometimes by several decades. Younger leaders may detect this as negativity or abrasiveness, leaving them questioning their abilities and feeling intimidated by the people they are supposed to be managing confidently.
It may be cliché, but it’s important for all leaders – young and old – to have confidence in their abilities and to know that they rose to this position on their own merit, not by some fluke. If you are able to have confidence in your leadership abilities and respect for your own position, your team will follow suit, ready to see you as someone who is approachable and worthy of respect.
When it comes to leading older generations …
It can be tricky to relate to people who are many years older than you; similarly your team might be finding it difficult to relate to you too. The best way to get them on board with your leadership? Give them time! Give them a chance to get used to your leadership style and encourage them to display how they work and what their habits are so that you can use these to drive your team and organisation forward.
In particular, find out what the values are of the older people in your team when it comes to their jobs. Different generations will naturally have a different idea of what they are working for and what’s important to them in their careers. Knowing their values, listening to their ideas and implementing them where you can, will help you to relate to them, despite the generational differences and can help you when it comes to getting them on board with your agenda for your team.
At the end of the day, it is important to get all of your team on the same page. Whether you have team members who are 16, 65 or anywhere in between, it’s crucial that you, as a leader, are helping to bridge the gap to create a cohesive team, united towards a common goal.
If you’re a younger leader, ready to bridge the generational gap, People Make the Difference can help you with short, online videos, resources and one-to-one training to benefit your leadership. To find out more, visit www.pmtd.com.au or call us on 0412 333 415.