If you’ve made your way up in the business world to become a manager, there’s a good chance that you might soon become a manager for people who are older than you. While this might seem strange on the surface, just because someone is older or younger doesn’t necessarily make them better or worse at managing people. So despite the fact that you may be younger than the people on your team, you could very well be the best manager for the job. But if you’re still worried about this dynamic, here are three tips for being an effective manager for people older than you.
Be Strong Yet Humble
When managing people, it can be hard to find the right balance between leading and giving autonomy. This can be especially difficult for people who are trying to manage those who are older than them and might have a chip on their shoulder about it.
To strike the right balance here, you’ll want to give off a vibe of being both strong and yet humble. While you want to listen to what your staff is saying and trust them in the way that they’ve been doing things within your business for as long as they have, you also don’t want to let people push you around. But if you can find this balance, you could be a great match as a manager for people of any generation.
Look For Feedback But Not Their Approval
For many people that are managing people who are older than them, they might inadvertently put some of their own trauma into the relationship, which can cause the younger manager to seek approval from their older team members.
Rather than going about it this way, you should seek to get feedback from your staff about what everyone on your team can do better, including both yourself and your older team members. This way, each person on your team can know what to do without feeling like they have something to prove.
Learn How People Like To Communicate
In general, people of different generations tend to communicate in different ways. And if you’re going to be managing people of older generations, you’re going to need to learn how to best communicate with this demographic.
While you don’t have to treat them like they’re in senior living facilities, trying to cater what you say and how you say it, both verbally and in digital communication, can help ensure that your point is always made and that you build a strong relationship that you can cultivate over the years of working together.
If you want to be an effective manager even when you’re managing people who are older than you, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you in doing this.