Tag Archives: collaborative leadership

Six Ways To Lead On A Multi-Generational Team

There is rarely a time that generational challenges don’t emerge in my leadership workshops or coaching sessions. The comments and concerns range from:

“Why can’t they have the same work ethic as we do?”

“Why are they so fixated on their phones and technology?”

“Why can’t they be more open to new ideas and different strategies?”

“Why can’t they see the value in a flexible workplace?”

“Why is work/life balance so scary to them?”

I am sure you have heard these same perspectives in your organization and may be wondering why we all can’t come together. Some even believe that if we just focus on the individuals that the generational differences will dissolve.

Which is it? Do we really have generational divides or are we just making too much of this issue? My answer to that is: A little of both.

Six ways to lead on a multi-generational team:


While it is never a good idea to create or perpetuate stereotyping, it is helpful to consider the different generational work ethics and behaviors. Whether we want to accept it or not, technology has changed the way we go about working and that has allowed more flexibility in our organizations. Whether we used technology later in our careers or it has been part of our entire life, it has impacted the speed of work and how we go about tackling our projects. Yet technology cannot provide institutional wisdom and knowledge that can propel younger generations forward with clients and office politics.


It’s all about the partnership and dreaming together in formation- knowing exactly where you are going. When working on a multi-generational team, make sure there is a clear vision and it is shared system wide.

  • Include all generations in building that vision
  • Ask for input
  • Listen for possibilities never considered
  • Write it out clearly and put it front and center


Just as a vision steers the way, values help us make clearer and consistent decisions. Core values help the different generations come together for a common language and spirit. One way to make better decisions in times of ambiguity is to look at your values and test out each decision or action against them.


Each generation may have varying strengths and talents but in order for a team to be high performing, it is critical to leverage those gifts. Studies show that developing an individual’s strengths is way more impactful than spending too much time on their weaknesses. Once we recognize one another’s expertise, then learn from each other. Reverse mentoring is an extraordinary way to grow our leadership.


As with any new skill or knowledge obtained, practice using it.

  • Set up mentoring relationships that go across generations where each is a mentor and each is a mentee
  • When you see a new behavior being used in the workplace give that person a “way to go”
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Be afraid not to try
  • Ask for honest and respectful feedback


Generations are made up of individual people who are all unique and special. Never pigeon hole anyone but instead delve deeper to see their value and help them cultivate stronger leadership strategies.

How do you lead on a multi-generational team?

(Credit image: FlickrCC-Richard Foster)

Five Critical Leadership Relationships

When things go wrong in our professional lives it usually ends up revolving around a missed target, confusing message or personality clash. All of these unmet expectations point in the exact same direction- a collision with a workplace or customer relationship. The truth is that we all miss deadlines, make mistakes, hear a communication incorrectly and have conflict with others. That’s just human nature and the reality of working. The thing is if we have strong relationships with people in the workplace we can face our challenges constructively and rebound with greater precision and more successful outcomes. But the key is to build deep connections so when we do fall on our faces, we

Five Leadership Traits In A Free Workplace

Independence Day is upon us in the United States and many will celebrate with fireworks, social gatherings and plenty of barbecued food. It is a joyous time as we honor those who helped create a country of freedom and choice. Along with having the many opportunities, comes a great deal of responsibility and expectation. We need to be open to different points of view and be willing to hear all sides of an issue before declaring our stand. But what is most fascinating about this process is that once you actually behave this way, it becomes a way of life naturally.

The same is true for any team or organization. When individuals embrace a free… Continue reading | 4 Comments

Five Leadership Approaches To Wake-Up A Team

How does your team look these days? Are team members dragging their feet, awaiting a vacation or a day off? Has the routine and workload gotten the better of everyone? Maybe the direction the team is following doesn’t seem to make a lot a sense or support the overall organizational goals. Whatever is happening, it may be time for a shake-up or wake-up. But who will lead the charge to disrupt or challenge the team?

Working with teams for many years, I often hear someone complain about how dysfunctional their team is. Finger pointing is often the way a team communicates when deadlines are missed and team members are frustrated. It’s always someone… Continue reading | 6 Comments

Seven Choices To Compassionate Leadership

It’s easy to give up on team members or colleagues when they don’t meet our expectations. When co-workers don’t pull through in the way we thought they would or should, we often become angry or feel let down. We even may become defensive and be ready to go on the attack.

Have you faced any of these frustrating situations in your workplaces or collaborations?

  • Missing information for a project
  • Deadlines that are ignored or miscalculated
  • Being omitted from an important email
  • Not being part of a team decision
  • Overlooked to be part of a Happy Hour after work

Many of these actions may not be a… Continue reading | 8 Comments