It’s a Thursday afternoon and you decide to take a quick snack break in the lobby of the office and people watch. As you observe the employees walking by, you notice the differences in their walks first. Then you notice differences in the way they dress. Finally, you notice that you’re seeing employees in their early 20s as well as their late 60s. This is an age-diverse workplace.
As someone who leads a team, maybe you’ve noticed correlations of behaviors with certain age groups. But is it more productive to focus on aspects such as skills and strengths or the generation of which the person is a part? The short answer is, yes. But, a business coach will have a complex and detailed answer to this question, but let’s break it down here in layman’s terms.
How Stereotypes Negatively Impact the Culture
You’ve likely seen the generation bashing on social media. Millennials bashing Boomers, Boomers bashing GenZers . . . and, if you’re not careful, internalizing and even perpetuating these stereotypes can be second nature. But there’s a problem with that. The implications of these stereotypes is that ALL Boomers are one way and ALL Millennials are another and so on. What happens when a Millennial arrives who learns or works in a way that you thought only Boomers worked? Or when a Gen Xer is the strongest on the team when it comes to technology? Herein lies the danger of blanket generalizations over generations.
A Different Way to Lead
Our identities are more than our age. Therefore, a personalized approach to leadership is the natural answer for managing a team. If Brian communicates one way, accommodate. If Lee tends to be confident in front of a group, embrace it. Personalized leadership means understanding an individual and meeting them where they are – strengths, skills, areas of growth and all. The ability to stay attuned to the person, rather than the age, can potentially reduce the turnover of workers and boost the overall morale of your team.
It’s true that a personalized approach to management is easier said than done. There’s a delicate balance when it comes to staying consistent, while also personalizing leadership styles between team members. There also are times when your team consists of dozens of people and it seems almost impossible to practice a personalized approach for everyone.
Working with a leadership coach is a great way to enhance your toolbox to enable you to practice personalized management that is effective in your work environment. Crosworks has partnered with leaders in all types of organizations to meet them where they are today and to guide them with where they wish to go. We’d love to talk to you about your specific situation. Jump online and schedule a quick, complimentary call today.