Are subordinates older than you, a challenge to handle?

In knowledge and technology-driven world of today, young managers are often promoted to a lead team of older managers. Commanding Respect and support from them is often challenging. Here are 9 tips to help:

  1. Think about how their experiences add value to your team. It could be their perspective on customers, suppliers’ other stakeholders. Or it could be knowledge of pay history. Identify all such strengths and plan to use these.
  2. Treat them with respect. Example, visit them rather than summon them to your room for discussion. Address them respectfully.
  3. In a group meeting seek their opinions first. Encourage them to feel free to express, share their experiences.
  4. Motivate them by recalling their past contributions and opportunity for them to progress by learning new technologies and processes.
  5. Help them learn new skills and technologies.
  6. Delegate assignments matching their strengths to them with full freedom to deliver. Use their strengths.
  7. Never challenge them in front of others. Do it privately when needed. Senior can be more sensitive in getting negative feedback from a younger person.
  8. Don’t be afraid of using your authority. Assert your position as their supervisor but be fair and open.
  9. Demonstrate your special skill in solving problems, making decisions and handling issues being faced by your team. The more success you bring to your group, more the seniors in your team will respect you.

You have been assigned higher responsibility based on your skills but these alone may not bring the best results. A motivated and cohesive team, using the skills and experience of every member can produce great results. It may also open the door for your next promotion.

By : Naren Ambwani for ZEUS

Next : Turn around adversarial colleagues


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