It’s easy enough to sometimes complain about the behaviors of today’s millennials, especially if you’re not one of them yourself.
After all, they act differently, work differently and sometimes even look different than the Gen Xers, Gen Yers, and Baby Boomers, so it’s easy to look for the negatives instead of the positives.
Whatever your attitude, they do have the numbers on their side, and as they continue to advance in the workforce, they’ll soon be moving into more leadership positions, especially as current leaders advance or retire.
This means two things: older generations need to be open to working with millennials, and millennials, especially those interested in leadership-focused careers need to be open to working with older generations.
At the same time, they’re learning to speak with other generational groups, future leaders need to learn more details of managing their own peers. Because the millennials are such a newer, younger group, demographically speaking, there has been plenty of research about their features and behaviors, but less about how to effectively manage them — especially from someone who is one of them!
Consider some of these strategies for future leaders.
- Make them feel empowered. This generation generally likes to feel valued and that they’re making a difference, rather than “just working.” So if you want someone to take part in or head a project, it’s important to show them its value to the company or society’s greater good.
- Show – and tell. Just commanding them to do something won’t always work as well especially if you aren’t willing to do it yourself. This goes for professional activity as well as personal integrity. Though you can show leadership by delegating them tasks they are more suited to, they also need to know that you could do it yourself.
- Be honest. Millennials often prefer to work for people who own up to their mistakes, deal well with adversity and spread compliments around instead of criticisms. Though bad stuff is likely going to happen, how you handle these situations says a lot about your leadership.
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