To lead a team as such a young age is such a challenge. However, being given that responsibility this early means that the company you are working for sees something in you.
But your team might see otherwise, especially if you’re team is WAY older than you.
According to an article by Forbes, managing teammates from older generations would require LOADS of patience from your end. You would be hearing a lot from them – good and bad, and the best thing you can do is be there to listen.
If your parents taught you that respecting the elders is a must, then you’re off to a good start. Here are a few other things you can do to be an effective team leader to older people.
Listen and repeat
Of course, to be an effective leader: one must learn how to be a good listener to his or her teammates. Here in our country, there’s a saying that older generations often tell the young ones: “Papunta ka palang, pabalik na kami.” And experience-wise, that is true. You may learn a lot from the way they speak, move, and work. From here, you can see their strength, weaknesses, and so on for you to know them better.
Don’t be a know-it-all
Aside from being a good listener, it’s always better not to let the power of authority get into you. Remember to always consider you teammates’ input in a project or workload. If they think that your strategy isn’t right, take that into account. They might have the experience to actually say that. Don’t act as if you know everything because let’s be real: You don’t.
In order to know your older peers better, you may want to know them on a personal level. Try to communicate with them outside of the work environment through random coffee dates, lunch or other means. Getting to know them on a personal level will make you understand them better. Aside from that, they can also learn more about you and finally break that leader-staff boundary. From here, you can also come up with a strategy on how to become a better leader for them.
Mix and match your strategies
Another boundary that needs to be taken care of is the work strategies. Coming from different generations, the way one works will also be different. For instance, your older peers may prefer printing documents, while you like the digital way. These small differences may (and will) cause obstacles within your team. Find a way to meet halfway with all your strategies. Make sure that everyone will be comfortable with your work strategies to avoid “rebellious” actions.
Remember that you’re still young
Don’t let the whole “I’m their leader, I should be an example and be laser-focused with work” get into you. Sometimes, the last thing that your older peers need is an ‘all too serious’ leader. Yes, you should be professional and responsible in your work environment, but it’s also not wrong to have fun every now and them. Make use of your youthful energy, because it won’t be there forever.