There is much discussion about how to manage Gen Y (those born since the early ‘80s), yet comparatively little about how Gen Y can best manage their cross-generational peers.
Take the Gen Y marketing intern who, invited to a sit in on a meeting with a prominent journalist, spent most of the meeting on her phone. Or the Gen Y who, when asked his opinion on a development session, answered honestly that it was boring, only to find out he was talking to the person who wrote it.
Whilst care and consideration should be taken by Gen Xs, Boomers and Zoomers* to learn how best to manage Gen Y, this is a two-way street. It makes complete sense to help Gen Y to better manage their older peers and leaders.
Here are my top 10 tips:
- Accept that people do have differing points of view – set out to understand them
- People also have differing standards – learn what these are and decide if you can adhere to them
- Make sure you’re very clear on what’s expected (and what this ‘looks like’)
- Find out people’s hot buttons – learn their preferences and conflict triggers
- Ask for feedback and take it one board (though avoid being needy – learn to self assess)
- Be prepared to compromise and adapt
- Communicate about how best to work together – be honest though learn when to hold back
- Ask for help – if you don’t understand, say so
- Avoid taking things personally – if people sound skeptical they’re probably seeking information, weighing up options
- Think about facts not perceptions – someone might just want to work independently – they’re not ignoring you
* Zoomer: yet another buzzword – a Boomer who refuses to age – apparently currently the largest leadership demographic