Work With Older Colleagues? Do This To Not Offend Them

Here’s what to do when you manage someone older than you

 
Work With Older Colleagues? Do This To Not Offend Them
Image Credit: theintern

One problem many millennials face at work is when they have to manage colleagues who are older in age.

This can be a problem, especially if you tell them what to do, as they may take it as an insult and feel that you’re trying to show them down by saying you know better.

If this is something you’re facing at work, or are worried about before joining work, check out these tips that will help you manage the situation better, without offending anyone.

  • Start off by listening to them so that you don’t make anyone feel ignored, disrespected or less valued.
  • Make sure to take their views into consideration, and wherever suitable, ask them what they think of a particular situation.
  • If your older colleagues have a different way of doing something, implement their way sometimes. It is possible that you will get the same results by using their method instead of yours, even if it’s done differently.
“If you tackle it in a professional manner, senior colleagues may accept your ideas.”
“If you tackle it in a professional manner, senior colleagues may accept your ideas.”

Kunal M Shah, Casting Director with Cast In Time, talks about how he deals with it at work.

“As casting guys, we deal with all sorts of performers and actors. Some might be senior in terms of age, while some might be senior in terms of the work they’ve done. Some senior actors get extremely offended when we call them for screen tests and often give us a straightforward ‘no’. It’s a thin line we need to walk to get our work done without hurting their egos. For instance, an actor questioned my credentials compared to the history of his long career. I made him understand why I had to ask him for a test and made it clear that I wasn’t questioning his ability. If you tackle it in a professional manner, senior colleagues may accept your ideas and requirements too and work accordingly.”

While you may know newer and different ways that the older colleagues may not be comfortable with, try to think of it as a team, and sometimes, learn from their different ways too, to help balance the situation better.